BY ARLENE JOHNS
Barney, the dog that was burned over 30 percent of his body and found wandering in Somerset County, should live happily ever after.
Dozens of phone calls with offers to assist have poured in from as far away as Maryland.
“The Somerset County Humane Society has re-ceived a lot of applications to adopt him,” said Brady Hamady, a veterinarian at Laurel Highlands Animal Hospital, where Barney is being treated.
“They are trying to find which home is best for him.”
Based on wound patterns, it is believed Barney’s injuries were caused by scalding water or a chemical.
A black and brown German shepherd mix who is about 8 months old, he weighed only 23 pounds when he was found Jan. 1.
The humane society initially put up a $250 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever inflicted the wounds.
Elaine Gower, an officer with the humane society, said the reward has risen to nearly $4000, with $2500 coming from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Gower said her office has received one tip so far that could lead to something and she is hopeful that the additional reward money will get justice for Barney.
“Somebody lived next to this dog,” she said.
Linda Kelly learned of the dog’s plight from her Cumberland, Md., paper, which had picked up the story from The Tribune-Democrat.
Kelly, who has been involved with animal rescue for 12 years, said she had received several calls from her neighbors who want to contribute to the reward.
“It shows how serious the public is in trying to track this person down,” said Kelly.
“There is a direct correlation between animal abuse and child abuse. It’s not normal behavior.”
Donations also are coming in to help with the considerable costs of Barney’s care.
Faye Gardner volunteered Thursday at the humane center, fielding phone calls.
“We are bombarded,” she said. “It is wonderful. People really do want to help.”
The animal hospital also received lots of calls from concerned residents wondering how Barney was doing.
Hamady said the pup was undergoing procedures to remove dead skin.
“He seems to be responding well to the treatment,” Hamady said. “His attitude has been phenomenal.
“He has been a real trouper. He hasn’t shown any aggression at all. I think he really knows we’re trying to help him.”