In Smithtown, N.Y. a $7,000 reward is being offered for the safe return of Ginja, one of four pit bull dogs seized in a felony animal cruelty case, involving a Buffalo Police cell block attendant, Shannon Richardson, 34, according to a press release from the Guardians of Rescue on Monday.
On Friday, an indictment against Richardson was issued, who now faces three felony counts of prohibition of animal fighting and two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. He also faces a misdemeanor count of prohibition of animal fighting in connection with the dog fighting equipment Buffalo police recovered from his Erb Street residence.
In conjunction with animal rights' attorney, Matt Albert's reward money of $2,000, Guardians of Rescue added $5,000 for information leading to Ginja's safe return.
A former FBI agent and dedicated advocates, who call themselves "Ginja's Gang," have been searching the city and handing out flyers. The group has been concentrating on the city's east side where incidents of dog fighting have recently been reported.
A statement by Robert Misseri, the president of Guardians of Rescue, explains why the reward offer is so high:
"The dog fighters are motivated in this cruel sport in part by money, so it is our intention to appeal to them on their level. It is our hope that someone with connections to this ring will be enticed to receive the reward. We fear she was stolen from the shelter to be returned to the fighting arena to continue earning money. This would surely result in more horrific injuries and her ultimate death. One look at the photos taken of her at the shelter proves this to be true - they are heartbreaking."
And Misseri continues:
"We won't stop searching until she is found and we are able to give this loving dog the life she truly deserves."
According to the Buffalo News, Buffalo police spokesperson, Michael DeGeorge stated:
“The situation of the missing dog from the Buffalo Animal Shelter remains an active investigation by detectives. We ask anyone with information regarding the missing dog or the incident to call the police confidential tip line at (716) 847-2255.”
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