Reward rises in Burke County dog case

This week's discovery of 19 dead dogs abandoned on a Burke County dirt road is prompting offers to increase a reward for information about the crime.

"I had one lady call from Columbia County yesterday afternoon who wanted to donate," said Jesse Burke, the county's public works director. Workers in his department discovered the dog carcasses Monday along Old Wadley Road.

Another woman from Smyrna in suburban Atlanta saw the news on Facebook and called up to make a donation to the reward fund, officials said.

Burke started the reward with a $200 donation after he saw puppies without their eyes open, grown pregnant dogs and one male dog tossed to the side of the road. Public Works employees later buried the animals.

The breed has not been determined.

Burke County sheriff's Chief Deputy James Hollingsworth said he is still working through a stack of messages from people wanting to help find the person responsible . The amount of the reward has increased, but Hollingsworth did not know the combined total.

So far no one has come forward with information that could lead to an arrest.

The person responsible will face charges of cruelty to animals. Hollingsworth said he plans to discuss the issue with the district attorney's office and the Department of Natural Resources to see what other charges could apply.

Anyone with information about the dogs should contact the Burke County Sheriff's Office at (706) 554-2133.

Reach Bianca Cain at (706) 823-3486 or