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Protection Agent’s Dog Is Hanged

April 14, 2000

BEND, Ore. (AP) _ A German shepherd belonging to one of Oregon’s top animal-protection agents was found shot and hanged from a tree.

The dog, named Donner, belonged to Kimball Lewis, director of the Humane Society of Central Oregon. The dog was killed Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Lewis found the dog hanging by its neck from a juniper at his rural home.

``Whoever did this, it was very personal. They knew how to do the very worst to Kimball,″ said Mary Blackburn, a friend and former colleague.

The reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed the 7-year-old pet has reached $20,000, including an anonymous $10,000 donation and $5,000 from the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington.

``This kind of travesty won’t be tolerated,″ said Byron Maas, president of the Humane Society of Central Oregon board of directors. ``There’s been a huge, huge community outcry.″

Maas said the local chapter of the Humane Society has become much more aggressive in pursuing animal abuse and neglect cases since Lewis arrived last June. Many people in Bend have speculated that his dog was killed in retaliation or as intimidation.

Lewis has confiscated cats, dogs and horses and has investigated a number of major cases.

Lewis, described by Gov. John Kitzhaber as ``a tireless worker for animal welfare,″ used to take his dog to work.

Friends and colleagues said Lewis was devastated by the loss of his beloved dog. Lewis has not been at work or taken calls. In a comment made to an online publication in Bend, Lewis said he needed time to consider whether he wanted to stay in the field.

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