RICHMOND (KCBS) – A $20,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of suspects in the poisoning of both a Richmond police officer dog and a Richmond police officer’s own dog, Richmond police said Wednesday.
East Bay pet supply company Pet Food Express doubled the original $10,000 reward offered by the Richmond Police Department.
The burglars broke into the police officer’s home late last week to poison his pet, then broke in a second time while the officer took the 2-year-old black Labrador to the vet for treatment, according to police.
“Obviously this was a very intentional, very calculated attack on this officer’s home,” said Lt. Bisa French, spokeswoman for the Richmond Police Department.
During the second break-in, an unspecified number of sporting guns and two handguns were stolen, French said. And a Belgian Malinois in service for a decade at the Richmond Police Department was poisoned.
“We’re used to responding to burglaries, but we’ve never seen one where the dogs were actually poisoned to carry out the burglary,” French said.
She noted that the police dog posed no threat since it was locked up in a kennel when the burglars entered the home.
The officer’s dog, named Trax, died the day after the burglary. The police dog was recovering Thursday. Both animals ingested poisoned food, French said.
The suspects could face felony animal cruelty as well as burglary charges.
When a Pet Food Express owner heard pf the case, he decided to match the police department’s $10,000 reward for tips leading to the suspects’ capture and conviction, company spokesman Mike Murray said.
“We felt really bad this happened and just wanted to show our support,” he said.
The company has a long-standing relationship with local law enforcement.
Each year, Pet Food Express teams with the non-profit group The Police and Working K-9 Foundation for a “Cover Your K-9″ event that helps equip law enforcement officers and their dogs with customized bulletproof vests, heat alarms for patrol cars and K-9 first-aid kits.
In addition, police officers can bring their K-9s into Pet Food Express stores for free pet washes, Murray said.
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