$25,000 reward offered in missing Phineas case

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SALEM, MO (KTVI)-- A small Missouri town is back in the national spotlight over the disappearance of Phineas the dog.

Phineas was seized 16 months ago from a Salem, Mo family.  The Salem mayor ordered the yellow Labrador seized and destroyed after the dog reportedly bit twice.

Mayor Gary Brown showed FOX 2 a photograph of the dog bite as proof.  J.J. Tune is a Salem, Mo veterinarian and believes that photo does not show a dog bite.

"The bite wound we have pictures of is of a primate bite," said Tune. "It`s not a canine bite."

The legal fight that followed was about to come to a head Thursday with a court hearing.  The attorney for Phineas and the dog`s family was prepared to argue it was time to let Phineas return to the dog`s family.  Now Joe Simon is offering a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the person or persons responsible.

The dog was being cared for by Tune.  He believes someone picked a lock to enter his office on Friday night.   Phineas was fed Friday afternoon, but hardly any food was gone when workers discovered Phineas missing Saturday.

"I think whoever took it was trying to make sure he was going to get a good home and a good life," said Tune.

Others fear someone with bad intentions took the dog.

"Threats had been made against Phineas` life and so there`s a chance here that evil has temporary beaten good," said Simon.

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