Reward increases in severed dog case

PHILADELPHIA - October 28, 2010

The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible has increased to $4,000.

SPCA officials say Chico the dog was killed on railroad tracks in Northeast Philadelphia, resulting in the dog being cut in two.

Officials tell Action News the rear half of the dog has been recovered in the area of Bustleton and Haldeman avenues near the tracks.

That half has been missing since Sunday when Sherri Verden found the front of Chico on her back door in the 200 block of Byberry Road.

"I looked out my back door," Verden told Action News," and there was a severed dog laying here on my deck. They had severed it from underneath the front paws, so it was, like, the top of the body... and it was completely gutted. A very gruesome sight."

The dog was still wearing its dog tag. Monday night, a woman and her daughter went to SPCA headquarters to positively identify the remains of their pet. The dog turned out to be Chico, a 3-year-old Siberian Husky who belonged to a family living a few miles away on Haldeman Avenue.

"This is almost like a 'Godfather' situation," said George Bengal of the Pennsylvania SPCA. "This would be my first experience with something like this where someone actually went to this extreme to do this to send a message to this individual."

The owner says their dog says Chico ran away around 9:00 Sunday night. They had been trying desperately to locate him when they got the call from SPCA.

"I was shocked," Chico's owner, Gabriella Orvadia, said through tears. "It's a sick, sick and sad individual who would do something like this. It's pathetic."

Philadelphia police say they have two persons of interest in the case. They've interviewed one of them and are still looking for the other.

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