On Jan. 21 at 4:45 p.m., after responding to a call reporting a fire in Houghton Park near Harding Street and Atlantic Avenue, the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Engine Company 12 discovered a smoldering fire on the grass west of the skate park. On the site of the fire, in a plastic bag covered with palm fronds, lay a small dog, dead.

The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), an Arson Investigator from the LBFD, and Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) responded to the call and were questioning adults and children near the scene to find witnesses. No usable information was retrieved, but a source from the LBFD said that several pieces of evidence were recovered that may prove useful.

Investigators couldn’t determine whether the dog, who appeared to be a Chihuahua or Chihuahua mix, had died before the fire was set or had been burned to death. The case is said to bear similarities to two 2007 unsolved canine killings by fire.

ACS manager John Keisler said that all involved are moving quickly on the investigation. On Wednesday, flyers were distributed at local schools and throughout the community asking for people’s help in solving this crime. We’re pleading, too, along with other animal lovers.

“Haute Dogs wants to add $1,000, and I personally will add $1,000 to the reward money,” said community activist/organizer Justin Rudd.  Haute Dogs is Rudd’s nonprofit community organization that focuses on love for animals.

Please, if anyone reading this post knows anything at all about the identity of a missing tan Chihuahua or the owner, or has seen or heard anything at all, call the Arson Hotline established especially for this case at (562) 570-2582 or contact ACS at (562) 570-7387. We’ll keep you updated if any more information is turned in.