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Tortured coyote pup in surgery at Atascadero vet; $5500 reward offered

Reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who tortured this female coyote pup.
Reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who tortured this female coyote pup. Animal Rescue Team.

Julia di Sieno was on her way back to Solvang from Atascadero this morning as animal lovers everywhere were outraged over the torture of a female coyote pup. Animal torture is taken seriously in the state of California.

Di Sieno, the executive director and co-founder of the Solvang-based Animal Rescue Team, had just dropped off the coyote pup at the vet for surgery. As the on-site caretaker, she has been the person watching over the 6-pound female coyote pup that was found in an alleyway in Santa Maria, California.

The Animal Rescue Team, Inc. and the Animal Legal Defense Fund are together offering a $5,500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who tortured the pup.

Under California Penal Code § 597(a), anyone who “maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal” can face misdemeanor charges—one year in county lockup and/or a $20,000 fine—or felony charges amounting to up to three years in county jail and/or a $20,000 fine.

According to di Sieno, coyote "pups at this time of year should weight about 20 lbs."

The pup was found by a plumber on 31 July 2014. The pup was tied to a post in an alley way. Not only was the pup severely underweight, but she was also dehydrated. Her jaw was broken. In the photos, you can see that she has two puncture wounds in her neck--where the electrical cord ends were force into her body suggesting torture. The cord was wrapped around her neck and legs. Her jaw was broken.

The pup was first taken to animal control in Santa Maria, and then taken by di Sieno of Animal Rescue Team to a Solvang Veterinary hospital. Dr. Macveigh started treatment which included removing maggots from her wounds. The Animal Rescue team searched for a veterinarian who would handle jaw surgery and found one in Atascadero (San Luis Obispo County).

Di Sieno doesn't know how much the surgery to fix her jaw will cost. There is a bone protruding from the lower jaw into her mouth and that might have to be ground down. It's possible an external fixture might be used. Funds are currently being south to pay for the surgery and the six months of ongoing rehab. After that, the Animal Rescue Team will decide if the pup can be released back into the wild.

Currently, Animal Rescue Team has "about 200 wild animals under our care," di Sieno commented. "We have other coyote pups as well whose mothers were shot by ranchers or others."

You can donate to either the reward fund or the surgery by going to the Animal Rescue Team website or by mailing them a check (Animal Rescue Team, Inc., 875 Carriage Drive, Solvang, CA 93463). Funds that are not used toward this particular coyote pup's surgery and rehab will be used to help the other animals at the rescue.

If you have information about the torture of this female coyote pup, you can contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund at 707-795-2533, x 1010.