SoCal couple's pet tortoise stolen and tortured, police say - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 07-15-2007, 01:27 AM   #1
Clay Davenport
SoCal couple's pet tortoise stolen and tortured, police say

VENTURA – Police offered a $1,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of whoever mutilated a family's pet tortoise.

The 40-pound desert tortoise named Bob was stolen Saturday from Bill and Dorothy Sullivan's front yard in Ventura.

The endangered reptile was later found behind an apartment complex, with multiple cuts to its head, throat, limbs and shell, police Lt. Ray Vance said.

“Someone used an ice pick type of knife to stab through the shell,” Vance said.

The Sullivans said they believed the suspects tried to remove Bob from his shell. The tortoise was examined by a veterinarian and it was unclear whether the animal will survive his injuries, police said.

“This turtle suffered so badly,” Dorothy Sullivan told KCAL-TV as she fought back tears. “It never should have happened. He was in a safe environment with people who loved him.”

http://tinyurl.com/yogm3o
 
Old 07-15-2007, 01:28 AM   #2
Clay Davenport
Rare tortoise tortured by thugs on the mend in Calif.

VENTURA, Calif. - An endangered pet tortoise named Bob was stolen from his home and violently mutilated, authorities said, but is recovering.

Bob was snatched from his owners’ yard last weekend, stabbed, slashed and dumped in brush behind an apartment complex, authorities said. The 42-pound African spurred tortoise was moved to a rehabilitation center this week after experts repaired his many wounds.
Police had several suspects and could make an arrest next week, officials said.
“He’s doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” said Jeanie Vaughan, owner of Turtle Dreams, the Montecito rehabilitation center.
Barring infection, “he should be all right” but may have to remain at the center through the summer, she said.
The 25-year-old tortoise belongs to Dorothy and Bill Sullivan and is a special friend of their 6-year-old autistic son, who rarely spoke to people but chattered to the animal. The Sullivans live in Ventura, which is about 65 miles west of Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast.
“They threw this 40-pound turtle against a brick wall. You could see blood where the leg was (hurt) . . . they tried to rip the leg out of the shell,” police Sgt. Jack Richards said.
Razor blades also were used to cut the leg, Richards said, but Bob’s tough hide and heavy musculature foiled that. He had three deep wounds to his neck and legs, including one that went through his thigh, along with lesser stab wounds to his shell.

http://tinyurl.com/2c9bpv
 
Old 07-15-2007, 01:28 AM   #3
Clay Davenport
Humane Society offers reward in tortoise case

The Humane Society on Friday announced it is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who brutalized a Ventura pet tortoise.

The national organization offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against cruelty.

Bob, a 42-pound African spurred tortoise, was snatched Saturday from a Ventura home, mutilated and dumped.

The animal was resting peacefully at a Santa Barbara animal rehabilitation center Friday but still needed the aid of a feeding tube and had several open wounds.

Police asked anyone with information about the case to call Ventura detectives at 339-4394 or Crime Stoppers at 385-TALK. Police are offering their own reward of up to $1,000 for information.

http://tinyurl.com/ywxmjg
 
Old 07-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
LadyOhh
I saw this on television, and it just makes me sick to my stomach how people can do things like this to any living creature...

The owner was in tears, and you could tell that she cared very much for her tortoise.

I hope they catch the people who did it.
 
Old 07-20-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
Kaa needs a wife
Here is the latest.

VENTURA – An arrest was made Thursday in the vicious attack on Bob, a 42-pound pet tortoise who was slashed and stabbed after being stolen from the home of an autistic boy.

Police said the attacker tried to cut Bob out of his shell. His hind legs were badly cut, his neck was slashed and his shell was punctured with a sharp object. The animal also was thrown against a wall, police said.

Jose “Tony” Mosqueda, 18, of Ventura, was booked at the county jail for investigation of cruelty to animals and grand theft.

It is believed he acted alone, police said.

“It's a good feeling. It's kind of neat,” Sgt. Jack Richards said. “It just really pulled at some heartstrings and it's good to have someone in custody.”

Witnesses to the torture provided information that helped lead to the arrest, Richards said.

Two rewards totaling $3,500 had been offered for help with an arrest and missing tortoise fliers were posted throughout the area, but Richards said he didn't know if that contributed to the arrest.

The 25-year-old African spurred tortoise belongs to Dorothy and Bill Sullivan and is a special friend to their 6-year-old autistic son, who rarely spoke to people but chattered to the animal.

The tortoise was snatched from their yard on July 7, brutalized and dumped in brush behind an apartment complex.

An anonymous caller told the family where to find Bob.

Police declined to discuss a motive, but Richards said it didn't appear the attacker wanted to eat Bob.

The tortoise was being treated at Turtle Dreams, a Montecito rehabilitation center. He remained in guarded condition and was being fed through a tube in his neck.

“He's getting more relaxed and coming out of his shell” more often, said Jeanie Vaughan, the center's owner. “If he continues without any infection, I think he's going to be fine.”

Police advised the Sullivans of the arrest. “They were just very thankful. They're looking forward to their tortoise coming back to full health,” Detective Sgt. Rick Murray said.

“She's very excited, Dorothy is,” Richards said. “She's asking what she can bring me and the detectives – candy, cookies.”

Bob's plight made headlines across the country and prompted a flood of calls from people wanting to help.

“I'm still getting 25 calls a day from people all over the nation: New Jersey, Montana, Arizona. I can name almost every state,” Richards said.
 

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