Someone in Greater Victoria has information worth thousands of dollars.
A reward fund for anyone giving Saanich police a tip that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for a fatal attack on a miniature horse now stands at more than $5,000.
The fund was set up by an anonymous animal lover who contributed $2,000, and donations are continuing to come in from all over southern Vancouver Island.
China Doll, a miniature horse known as Dolly, was attacked in a stall at her Holland Avenue home about 11 p.m. on Jan. 11.
When owner Kerry Hollebone found her the next morning, blood was pouring from under her tail and veterinarian Danica Olenick found her rectum had been torn by insertion of an unknown instrument.
Later that morning, four-year-old Dolly had to be euthanized because the tear had allowed feces to enter her abdomen.
During a post-mortem examination, Olenick found swelling and bruising around the horse’s vulva, vagina and anus.
The farm is near well-travelled roads, including West Burnside, and Hollebone is hoping someone saw the intruder break through the picket fence or noticed something else that could lead to the culprit.
The investigation has been taken over by Saanich police detectives, who can devote more time than the patrol division to concentrate on the case, said Det. Sgt. Murray Mashford.
“There are certain circles that look at animal abuse as a precursor to other crimes against people,” Mashford said.
“It is something that Saanich police are looking at seriously, and we would like to identify the person or people who injured the animal.”
The reward fund is an incentive for anyone who has information to come forward, either to Crime Stoppers or Saanich police, Mashford said.
Some tips have already been received, and police are checking databases for similar crimes, he said.
The case is a reminder for people to be vigilant around their neighbourhoods and report any unusual activities to police, Mashford said.
“Sometimes people don’t want to bother the police, but that’s what we are here for.”
Hollebone said people are continuing to send condolences, cards and remembrances of Dolly.
“We are very grateful,” she said.
The reward fund is being administered by the Scotiabank branch at the corner of Douglas Street and Hillside Avenue under the account name Reward for China Doll. Donations can also be made at other Scotiabank branches to account 90050-001-4729.
Saanich police ask anyone with information to contact them at 250-475-4321, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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