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Two animal-rights groups are offering a $4,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the deaths of 17 dogs in the Ogden area.

The dogs, all of which were pets that had been confined to yards, were discovered in late August in the Ogden-Brigham Canal along the east bench. They had presumably been drowned."We are convinced that these deaths are being deliberately caused," said Gene Baierschmidt, director of the Humane Society of Utah. "This many deaths, in the same manner, in the same place, in such a short time period can't be a coincidence."

The Humane Society of Utah and the Ogden-Weber Humane Society are offering the reward to "make it plain to the community that such incidents will not go unnoticed and hopefully will not go unpunished," Baierschmidt said.

Anyone with information about the deaths is asked to call Ogden police detective Jim Polokoff at 629-8306.