Metro

MSPCA offers reward for information in shooting death of Chihuahua and golden retriever in New Bedford

Animal welfare officials and local police are investigating an animal cruelty case in which two dogs were shot and killed in New Bedford. The Massachusetts Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Tuesday a $1,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the case.

A pedestrian found the two dogs, a Chihuahua and a golden retriever, together on Feb. 13, according to the MSPCA. Rob Halpin, a spokesman for the animal welfare group, said the group’s law enforcement department received numerous tips overnight and are following up on them today.

“We hope that the initial flurry of public support does not die down,” he said. “We hope people keep calling, even if they want to remain anonymous, and offer any information that may help.”

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Halpin said cases in which dogs are shot are “certainly not unheard of, but very rare.” He said the group investigates about 2,500 cases of animal cruelty each year.

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“That’s the whole spectrum, from negligence to abandonment,” Halpin said. “But this does stick out as a particularly graphic incident.”

The MSPCA is asking anyone with information about the case call its law enforcement hotline at 800-628-5808.

Colin A. Young can be reached at colin.young@globe.com.