Catskill billboard offers $10,000 reward for info on shot dog
Advocates are hoping someone’s conscience, combined with cash, will bring forward the person who shot a dog near Catskill last month. A new billboard on Route 9W is advertising a $10,000 reward for information to appeal to the community for help.
German Shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix Kolija was shot in the leg at close range near his home at an animal sanctuary on New Year’s Day.
State Police told NewsChannel 13 Tuesday they are following every lead to find who brutally shot Kolija in his hind leg.
Hyer Ground Rescue spearheaded the effort by several local animal groups, including Animal Nation, Humane Long Island, and Hudson Valley Rescue and Animal Sanctuary to hold the shooter responsible.
“Anybody that has a propensity to violence needs to be identified, and that’s why we’re doing this,” said Hyer Ground Founder Jamie Mitchell.
Mitchell is on the board of Greene County Animal Alliance, working to bring what she said was a much-needed animal shelter to the county. She founded the rescue in 2021 to support other animal advocates in Greene County.
“A lot of it is holding people accountable, working with law enforcement, spreading awareness, educating our community,” she said. “We were able to get [the reward] to an amount that will really make a difference, and hopefully, somebody has a conscience, and they’ll step forward and they’ll contact the State Police with information.”
Back on Jan. 1, Kolija courageously dragged himself hundreds of yards home to And-Hof Animals Sanctuary for Farm Animals and Permaculture. And-Hof President Kurt Andernach said the dog was slowly making a miraculous recovery but still had pins in his broken leg and faced months of healing.
The shooting interrupted the peaceful place where Andernach takes care of several hundred animals.
“I really hope that it will help us to apprehend the gunman and bring him to justice,” he said of the reward.
Andernach was overwhelmed by the generosity that has followed the ugly act. In addition to the billboard, a GoFundMe raised more than $15,000 to help with Kolija’s surgery and subsequent care.
“It sort of makes you cry. I mean, there has been so much outpouring from the Catskill community and way beyond. It’s just amazing. I’m so, so very grateful, and once again, it proves that we are really a community of animal rescuers and caregivers and that in times of need, we stick together,” he said.