Animal rights groups have offered a $3,000 reward in effort to find the person who shot and paralyzed a stray mastiff named Duke last month.
A group of photographers taking pictures at the Des Moines River spotted the dog struggling to get out of the icy currents Jan. 27. The group covered the animal with their coats until police and Animal Rescue League workers arrived.
Police believe Duke – so named by neighborhood people who cared for the former stray – was shot with a .22-caliber bullet.
ARL veterinarians transferred the dog’s care to the Iowa State University veterinary hospital Thursday.
The rescue league reported receiving hundreds of calls offering to adopt the wounded dog, but Duke has a long road to recovery, Tom Colvin, ARL executive director said Friday.
“Duke faces serious and immediate challenges as a result of his injury and once through that, will need a home that is prepared for the daily challenges associated with dogs with lower body paralysis, for the rest of his life,” Colvin said in a news release. “I wish it were as simple as just fitting him for a cart, but we welcome getting to that stage with him. Duke is receiving top notch care at ISU.”
The $3,000 reward is funded by a $2,500 contribution from the Humane Society of the United States and $500 from the ARL. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Des Moines police at 283-4865.