Dog Found Buried Alive in California Field

In what rescuers believe to be an act of animal cruelty, a small black-and-white terrier mix was found buried alive Thursday in a field in San Bernardino, California.

The San Bernardino Animal Services Department received a call at about 9 a.m. reporting a dog in distress at a remote field on the city's north end, Director Kris Watson told KTLA.

"The dog was still alive and was whimpering," officials said in a news release.

Animal Services officers found the dog buried up to its neck in a hole in the ground. They dug out the pup and rushed it to a veterinarian, Watson said. The dog is believed to be about a year old and did not have any tags or a microchip.

The dog was determined to have dust and dirt in its lungs and was given fluids and antibiotics. It is in stable condition, but officials are still worried about the "foreign material" in its lungs.

"While he is not out of the woods, we have a team of veterinary specialists working to save him and are hopeful for his recovery," the release said.

"We'll see how he progresses in the next 24 hours," said Watson.

The Animal Services Department was able to cover the dog's medical expenses, thanks to a grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, officials said.

Anyone with information about the case or the dog's owners is asked to call Animal Services at 909-384-7272 and reference A540397.

Animal cruelty cases are not a new subject for San Bernardino police, as a man in Fontana, 20 minutes outside of San Bernardino, was arrested in March for allegedly abusing a little dog named Bugs.

The police reported that the man, 47-year-old Ruben Escobedo, grabbed Bugs and allegedly, for no reason at all, threw him through a motorhome window.

The window shattered on impact, according to the Fontana Herald News, and Bugs—a former service dog—suffered minor injuries. Escobedo was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and a violation of Post Release Community Supervision, a form of probation set in place by former California Governor Jerry Brown.

Misdemeanor cases of animal cruelty in California can result in up to one year in county jail and up to a $20,000 fine. If convicted of a felony animal abuse case, penalties can include up to three years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Newsweek reached out to Watson for further comment.

Officials in San Bernardino, California, rescued a small dog buried alive in a field in a suspected case of animal cruelty. Above, rescued dogs at the Woof N'wags shelter on the outskirts of the village of Kfar Chellal, south of the Lebanese capital Beirut on April 30, 2021. JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images