Animal Legal Defense Fund Offers $5,000 Reward to Dog Neglect Case in Sonoma County

Posted on October 23, 2015

For immediate release:

Contact: Natalia Lima, Paws PR,

sonoma-county-gus-dog-article-image-230pxSonoma County, California – The national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is contributing $5,000 to a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for abandoning a severely neglected English bulldog nicknamed “Gus.” Sonoma County Animal Control officers discovered Gus in a crate hidden in the bushes at Sonoma County Animal Services in the early morning hours of October 1, 2015, and were overwhelmed by the odor of infection when they approached Gus. Despite receiving immediate care from shelter staff, Gus passed away from the severity of his condition: He was extremely emaciated, full of maggots, covered in fleas, and suffered from a large necrotic wound between his legs.

Security camera footage at Sonoma County Animal Services showed that Gus was abandoned at the site, 1247 Century Court in Santa Rosa, at approximately 10 P.M. on September 30, 2015.

Under California law, a person who deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, or who subjects any animal in that person’s charge or custody to needless suffering, commits animal cruelty and may be charged with either a felony—up to three years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine—or a misdemeanor—up to one year imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine.

“Our hearts break for this dog, who suffered from starvation and untreated infection until his death,” says Stephen Wells, ALDF executive director. “Animal neglect is a serious crime, and we urge anyone who has any information about this case to come forward and help get justice for Gus.”

If you have information related to this incident, please contact Sonoma County Animal Services at 707-565-7100.

ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit

24 thoughts on “Animal Legal Defense Fund Offers $5,000 Reward to Dog Neglect Case in Sonoma County

  1. Mary Nimptsch says:


  2. Suzy Briggs says:

    This is an abomination!! Find who did this & prosecute & fine heavily!! The should be in a database as well!!

  3. Lisa Ostello says:

    Can you contact the news stations

  4. Art Lipski says:

    If you post the security camera footage it may help in identifying this incredibly calloused and repugnant person.

  5. Suzan lake says:

    Hope they find who did this and throw the book at them!

  6. Barbara Shine says:

    The heartless, thoughtless, person/s who did this ought to suffer in the same manner. Let them know exactly what it feels like!!!

  7. Kelly Nestelroad says:

    Yes, this so called person of interest needs the same abuse. Please bring this important information so Justice can be served.Gus didn’t have much time. This monster don’t deserve their time now.

  8. mary rojeski says:

    We need a Nationwide database of animal abusers!!

  9. I hope that everyone SHARES this on FB and other social media. The more eyes that see, the better chances of catching this monster.

    Video footage could help.

  10. All animal abusers rather they be people or business should be
    prosecuted to the max.There should be strict abuse laws put into effect and enforced. If it takes undercover investigation to
    catch these criminals then so be it.If people don’t have anything to hide then they won’t stop the investigation.

  11. Having been raised with bulldogs I was horrified by begat happened to Gus. His was a long and painful death. He must never be forgotten. His agony must be remembered. Law enforcement must find the BAD GUYS AND PROSECUTE them to the fullest.

  12. deborah says:

    These crimes should be prosecuted and the perpetrators publically shamed.

  13. Karen Level says:

    I would like to encourage people in different states to report abuse, and for some it will involve reward money. Please let me know if ALDF rewards people in other states.

  14. vicki morgan says:

    I can’t even wrap my head around something like this. Poor, sweet boy. I’m so sorry. Someone would have taken him. Just surrender him. So much animal cruelty, but all the more reason to fight on.

  15. Jane Lewis says:

    I do hope they catch who was reponsible for this terrible cruelty to a helpless animal and that he gets the top penalty.

    Let us know what happens .The person who did this is a very sick disturbed person and should never be allowed to own another animal the rest of his sorry life ….dear knows how he treats his children

  16. Brenda Cox says:

    This is so heartbreaking. Whoever did this should receive the maximum penalty plus never be allowed to have any kind of animal for the rest of their life.
    Thank you ALDF for taking this case. I know you’ll get justice for Gus.

    1. Judy Howard says:

      Comment was well said. I couldn’t agree more. We can continue to share stories like this with social media.

  17. Nancy medved says:

    People who do these atrocious things to helpless animals are vicious!! They are mentally ill and should be put away before they do something else, perhaps to YOUR child.. Think about it!


  19. Ellen Kwait says:

    There is no reason to torture animals like this or in any other way. The same thing should be done to the people who do it. Maybe then they’ll think twice about the horrific things they do

  20. Jackie Vario says:

    This is just incomprehensible to me…makes me sick to my stomach that someone would do this to this beautiful helpless animal. He no longer suffers..RIP Gus, you deserved so much better. Hope these people are caught and justice is served!!!

  21. Rosemarie says:

    Well scumbag turn yourself in show me wrong that you are lower than whale BM. Matter
    The Whale BM is higher standards than you
    Had the guts to do this. If you do the crime
    Than do the time scumbag. You won’t because
    Your only brave in hiding. You will be found
    Today or tomorrow. You will be found foundScumbag

  22. Olina says:

    Truly this dog must have suffered immensely and hopefully his abuser will be found and dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. What we all need to understand is if you are still eating meat and dairy, you too, are contributing to suffering and for many animals, far worse than what Gus endured. Please, be informed and stop participating in the suffering of millions of animals.

  23. Georgia says:

    Posted to Twitter and Facebook. The more we speak out for Gus, the likelier we are to identify them and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

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