A pit bull found injured and abandoned in Ojai this week was euthanized by animal regulation officials Friday after blood work revealed the dog had cancer.
Sparky, as he had been named by his rescuers, is believed to have been injured in an organized dog fight. He was found emaciated and chained to a fire hydrant Monday.
He spent the week at the county animal shelter in Camarillo, where he was discovered Friday to have a carcinoma. The decision was made to euthanize the dog, believed to have been 5 to 12 years old.
"While we are extremely saddened by Sparky's death," said Jeff Hoffman of the Humane Society of Ventura County, "we know that this decision was in his best interest and we thank Dr. [Craig] Koerner and his staff for the loving care they gave Sparky over the past week." The Humane Society is seeking information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Sparky's injuries.
Nearly $3,000 has been raised for a reward. Donations may be sent to: Sparky Reward Fund, P.O. Box 297, Ojai 93024.
If the Sheriff's Department determines the case is unsolvable, the reward money will be transferred to the Shep Fund, which helps pay for the care of abused and neglected animals.