Darren Versiga and Rod Rodriquez have spent the last three days walking neighborhoods off Martin Bluff Road in Gautier. They think they found someone with a litter of black lab puppies - maybe the litter Buddy came from.
"Do you remember where the last one went? The last black dog you had, you remember where it went?" Versiga asked a woman.
The men hope they can make a connection.
"We can't substantiate whether or not this dog actually came from this litter, but there is one missing and we've accounted for all the dogs with the exception of a black one. And that's what we're trying to do now is run down the last dog of this litter to see if it could be Buddy," Versiga says.
Versiga is a dog lover. He doesn't want to see the person who hurt Buddy get away with it.
"Everybody has to have some compassion. I've got compassion for animals and people. The fact that nobody is coming forward that owns a litter, or that owned this dog and is not coming forward is disturbing to me."
Garry Emerick found Buddy inside a taped up box near the gate to Hickory Hill Nursery.
"I'd love to have the person for ten minutes of my time to get my own justice. I mean, that's baloney somebody treating an animal like that. I mean, it's pretty devastating really," he says.
Nursery owner Paul Hammond says since he opened two months ago, he's had more than his share of unwanted dogs dumped at his business.
"Within our first two weeks of business, we had two puppies that looked liked they had been thrown over our fence. And our fence, as you can see, is six feet high. About three weeks ago we had another puppy that was dropped off here," Hammond says.
That dog is called "Little Buddy." Hammond and his wife Karen felt sorry for the starving injured dog and couldn't send it to the animal shelter, so they kept it.
"His tail had been obviously docked with a rubber band and the vet this morning concurred with that."
Like his friend Garry Emerick, Hammond says the abuse and cruel treatment of dogs sickens him.
"I don't know what kind of person it is that does this other than a sadist, cause that's just evil."
Gautier Police Chief Investigator Eddie Williams says he has an investigator assigned to the case, but with other crimes that have to be solved, Williams says he's grateful for Darren Versiga's help.
The Humane Society of the United States has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. Private donations have also been made to the fund. You can reach the Gautier Police Department at (228) 497-2486
by Marcia Hill
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