Silent Witness offers reward in case of abused Husky puppy, investigation at 'standstill'

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Bear is doing amazingly well after somebody bashed his head in. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Bear is doing amazingly well after somebody bashed his head in. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Maricopa County Animal Care & Control) (Source: Maricopa County Animal Care & Control)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Silent Witness and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control are teaming up to find the person or people who bashed in the head of a 10-week-old Siberian Husky.

The organization said Wednesday that there’s a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the perpetrator.

The Husky puppy, now named Baby Bear, was dropped off at MCACC on Friday, Oct. 6. A good Samaritan found the little guy badly injured next to a dumpster in an apartment complex in the area of Seventh and Southern avenues.

[WATCH RAW VIDEO (starring a feisty Bear): Latest on abused Siberian Husky puppy and search for suspect]

[ORIGINAL STORY: Siberian Husky puppy brought to shelter with head bashed in]

[FIRST UPDATE: Abused Husky pup remains in medically-induced coma]

MCACC spokesman Jose Santiago said the man did exactly the right thing.

"It's really important for people to know that. He did the right thing," Santiago said. "He saw an injured animal. He brought it into Animal Care and Control. He knew that we were going to be able to get this guy the help that he desperately needed."

“The puppy appears to be the victim of animal cruelty and is suffering from a fracture on the top of his skull and a second fracture at the base of his skull,” according to the Silent Witness flyer. “Investigators are seeking any information in regard to this incident. “

The puppy's initial prognosis was not good, but he has since improved dramatically under the care of MCACC, Two Pups Wellness Fund, Arizona Animal Rescue Mission and Phoenix Dog Cat Bird Hospital

[READ MORE: Optimistic news about condition of abused Husky pup]

[SINCE THEN: Abused husky puppy doing well]

“Basically we’ve been all in. And when you’re all in, you are prepared to do anything possible to save a life, whether it’s a dog’s life or a human’s life,” said one of Bear’s veterinarians a couple of weeks ago.

Santiago brought Bear, now about 3 months old, to Wednesday's Silent Witness news conference. The little guy, who still requires around-the-clock care, was squirmy and a bit whiny -- quite puppy-like -- at first but settled nicely into Santiago's arms

"We have a very vibrant puppy who is healing miraculously," Santiago said. "But we don't want people to think that his journey is over because it's far from over. ... It was as close a call as you can possibly get. When he was brought in, he was comatose. ... We knew that this was a very severe case that we could not handle alone in the clinic."

[MOBILE USERS: Click here for photo of Bear when he was brought in and a month later.]

Bear has been getting 24/7 care, even going home with a member of the Phoenix Dog Cat Bird Hospital staff when he's not at the clinic.

"Had [the staff at Phoenix Dog Cat Bird Hospital] not fought as tirelessly as they have for this guy, he wouldn't be sitting here today," Santiago continued.

Despite Bear's astounding progress -- he's gained 5 pounds since he was brought in, regained vision in his right eye and is slowly warming up to the people caring for him -- Santiago said the puppy is nowhere ready for adoption.

"He is about the equivalent of an autistic child," Santiago said. "He is going to require a lot of special attention. He's going to require a lot of care. We're talking about 24-hour-a-day attention and care."

Santiago said there has been interest in adopting Bear from all over the world.

"Right now we're nowhere close to deciding who will be his new forever family," he said. "We're going to do everything possible to be sure he goes to the right home."

Part of the difficulty with Bear's case is that no witnesses have come forward so investigators do not know exactly what happened to the puppy -- whether his injuries were intentionally inflicted or accidental.

Heather Krimm, an investigator with the Phoenix Police Department's Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit, received the case shortly after the puppy was found.

"We just need help finding out what happened to this little guy," she said as Bear whined next to her. "We at the Phoenix Police Department take these animal cruelty investigations very, very, very seriously. We want to make sure these animals are getting justice."

Sgt. Jamie Rothschild said any information called into Silent Witness could be helpful.

"Detectives like Heather, they know the right questions to ask, but we need you to point us in the right direction," he said.

"At this point, I'm at a standstill. ... At this point, we don't have any suspects," said Krimm, whom we first met in 2014 when she rescued five abandoned newborn kittens and cared for them until they were ready for adoption.

[KRIMM'S KITTENS: Kitten litter left for dead celebrate one-year anniversary]

Rothschild and Santiago both talked about the importance of taking action if you see an animal in distress.

"This is a situation where even if this was an accident, you still could have gotten that dog help," Rothschild said. "If somebody showed a blatant disregard as they probably, possibly did and failed to get help, then that needs to be addressed, too."

If you know anything about what happened to Bear, please call Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). (Click or tap phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.)

Santiago said people wanting to help Bear should contact Two Pups Wellness Fund or Arizona Animal Rescue Mission.

"Both of those organizations have been a godsend to us, helping out with these medical expenses," he said. "You can be rest assured that anybody who makes a donation in Bear's name to either of those organizations, 100 percent of that money is going toward his medical expenses."

[MORE: Pets and animals news]

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