Police Chief Joe Treviño said Monday that Brent Phelps, a dentist in Corpus Christi, has added another $2,000 to sweeten the deal for information that could lead to the arrest of anyone keeping the dog and for the return of the animal.
Irk, a three-year-old male German shepherd, has been missing since Aug. 9 when his handler realized he was not in his yard.
At first, police officers and Beeville Volunteer Fire Department members embarked on a door-to-door search of the northeast corner of the city, looking for the 67-pound dog. Officers thought someone might have Irk in a back yard.
When that proved fruitless, Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers got involved in the search after Treviño said he was certain that someone had the dog.
The original reward for information that could lead to the dog’s recovery and the arrest of the person keeping him was $1,000. That is Crime Stoppers standard reward. But that quickly went to $2,000.
Then a Corpus Christi-based towing company, Apollo Wrecker Service, offered to match the reward, making it $4,000, if someone could come up with information that would lead to the arrest of a suspect and the recovery of the dog.
That increased to $6,000 after the Corpus Christi dentist made his offer.
Police officers have continually received tips of possible “Irk sightings”, but so far, all large German shepherds spotted have been another dog.
Irk is black and tan and he was wearing a leather collar with his name and contact information engraved on a brass tag on the collar.
Treviño said this week that a $6,000 reward offer should loosen the tongue of anyone who might have an idea who has the dog.
Police have ruled out an accident because no injured or dead dogs have been found since Irk disappeared.
Dogs that just wander off from their homes usually return in a few hours when they start to get hungry.
Anyone who might have information on Irk’s whereabouts is urged to call the BPD at 358-8100.
If anyone has information that could result in the reward being paid, that person should contact Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers at (877) 362-0206. No area code is necessary for a local call.
Anyone with access to the Internet may contact the organization at coastalbendcrimestoppers.com.
Crime Stoppers members have ways of keeping the witness’ identity confidential.
Treviño is still offering whomever might have Irk a grace period. If the dog is returned before the offer expires, no questions will be asked and no charges will be filed.
But the time remaining for that offer is running out by the day.
Anyone who is found to be hiding the dog is subject to being charged with a state jail felony. A conviction could lead to a two-year sentence in a state jail facility and a $10,000 fine.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.