A reward of several thousand dollars is being offered for information leading to whoever left a puppy to die in a flame-filled northern Minnesota trash bin.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced the reward Friday of up to $5,000 in connection with the case of Phoenix, the five-month-old husky mix found Feb. 20 in the garbage dump bin on the edge of a northern Minnesota reservation village.
"Treating an innocent dog in such a cruel manner is disturbing and unacceptable," Christine Coughlin, Minnesota state director for the HSUS, said Friday. "We're so grateful to everyone working to give Phoenix a new start and are hopeful this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this terrible crime."
The puppy was found in the bin by Clayton Van Wert, of Redby, Minn., while he was dropping off trash at night at the dump. From there, the dog went to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue shelter and then onto the nonprofit Act V, a Bloomington-based rescue organization.
Phoenix, so named by the operators of Rosie's after the mythological bird that is consumed by fire and then rises from the ashes, now splits his time between the South Hyland Pet Hospital in Bloomington and the home of Dr. Vicki Schulz, one of its veterinarians.
The puppy, which also was malnourished, faces two to four months of treatment for his burns.
Police on the reservation say they have yet to determine who put the puppy in the trash bin and left him there to burn. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Red Lake police Capt. Dana Lyons, Jr. or chief conservation officer Pat Graves at 1-218-679-3313.
Donations can be made at http://www.actvrescue.org on behalf of Phoenix or the other animals that the animal hospital treats pro bono.