Reward money split five ways in road rage dog case |

Reward money split five ways in road rage dog case


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Five people will split a $115,000 reward for helping to convict a man who tossed a small dog into oncoming traffic, where it was killed.

Dog lovers and others had donated the reward money. Andrew Burnett was convicted Tuesday of animal cruelty for grabbing Leo, the fluffy, white bichon frise from Sara McBurnett’s car and dropping him onto the busy highway after a Feb. 11, 2000 fender bender.

John Mora, who testified that he saw the incident, will receive $75,000, the county’s Humane Society announced Thursday. Four other people, all informants in the police investigation, will receive $10,000 each.

Burnett’s attorney argued during the trial that his client acted instinctively because the dog bit him.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 13. Burnett could be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

He has been jailed since Jan. 4 awaiting trial on charges connected to the disappearance of his Pacific Bell repair van and $68,000 worth of equipment.

Burnett left the scene after dropping the dog, and his identity was unknown for months. The Humane Society office was inundated for months with tips from people throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

”This case has garnered more attention to animal cruelty than any other,” executive director Christine Benninger said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.