Local News

Reward offered in dog abuse case

Posted April 30, 2008 11:39 a.m. EDT
Updated May 2, 2008 2:44 p.m. EDT

— A Sanford woman has offered a $200 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who forced a dog's head into a soccer ball, leading to the animal's death.

The State Highway Patrol said someone placed a deflated soccer ball over the dog's head and forced it onto U.S. Highway 1 early Sunday.

Around 2:45 a.m. near Chris Cole Road, a car hit and killed the dog, authorities said.

“It was just an orange flash. I was like…I’m going to hit that thing, whatever it was. At the time, I thought it was just a cone,” said driver Deonte Thomas.

Thomas, who was traveling from Raleigh to Southern Pines, kept driving until his car started making strange noises. Thomas said his bumper was damaged. He decided to drive back to remove the construction cone he believed he had hit with his car. Thomas called 911 after realizing it was a dog with its head stuck in a soccer ball.

State Trooper Jonathan Davis said due to the vehicle’s damage, the animal was alive prior to being hit. The animal instantly died from the impact.

Troopers said they would file animal cruelty charges if they can track down the culprit.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 12 years and have never seen or heard anything like this,” Davis said.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office is assisting with the investigation.

Authorities said no dogs were reported missing the weekend of the accident. The surface of the soccer ball prevented investigators from lifting any fingerprints from it.

Anyone who has information about this case was to asked call the Highway Patrol's Siler City office at 919-742-2124 or its Communications Office in Greensboro at 800-445-8621.