Family adopts Spike Dillinger; Reward offered in animal cruelty - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Family adopts Spike Dillinger; Reward offered in animal cruelty case

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UPDATE: The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­shooting a dog more than 30 times with a pellet gun.


LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - An East Texas family steps forward to adopt Spike Dillinger -- the three-year-old pit bull found in Longview with almost 40 wounds from a pellet gun.

Donations have poured in to help pay for Spike's treatment and surgery -- and now -- more people are stepping up to stop animal cruelty.

"Pellets... just a lot of pellets," said 11-year-old Kendrick Mills, who volunteered at Humane Society of Northeast Texas shelter -- when Spike Dillinger was brought in with more than 30 pellet wounds. "I just couldn't believe it."

The Yoders shared Mills' outrage when they saw the photos.

"He grabbed my heart so fast," Amy Yoder said, "especially when I read that, when the police went up to him, he walked straight up to them, and was still docile and sweet, even after somebody was almost inhumanely cruel."

So Amy and Chris Yoder wanted Spike to join their family -- of 4 children and another dog rescued from a car accident.

"It's touched their hearts," said Kendrick's mom, Valerie Mills, who manages adoptions at the shelter. She said donations for Spike's medical care have eclipsed $3,500.

Friday, Gregg County Crime Stoppers announced a reward of at least $1,000 for information about the crime.

"We don't tolerate that here, and we would keep the name anonymous," Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt said. "We just want the tips."

It was along Green and Richardson streets that a patrol officer spotted Spike wandering around bleeding - a ripped nylon cord still wrapped around his neck. It's a neighborhood where it's difficult to find witnesses in homicide cases, and that's why these agencies are stepping forward and trying to get this money together -- to get someone to have the courage to whisper what happened."

"This is not OK," said animal control officer Chris Kemper said the animal cruelty against Spike was the worst he's seen. "If you do this in our community, we're going come after you and we're going to find you."

The nonprofit Fete for Pets is getting donations to raise the crime stoppers' reward even higher.

"Fete for Pets wants to go all over town to get people to donate to this fund," Fete for Pets founder and president Alicia Nolte said.

Intentional animal cruelty is a felony. What Kendrick wants is simple.

"They get a fine, and they get the maximum penalty," Mills said.

If you have any information about this crime, call police. To make a tip anonymously, click here.

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