As the offspring of her pet bunny Moo Moo won ribbons during a weekend show, Joanna Pavlovich of Summerville still wondered who killed the prized rabbit she had considered a future champion.

Pavlovich, a breeder who attends rabbit shows throughout the Carolinas, had already offered $100 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who plucked Moo Moo and two other rabbits from her garage, tortured them and left them dead on the front lawn

On Monday, the James Island shelter Pet Helpers chipped in another $900, bringing the total reward to $1,000.

“It’s an upsetting and horrifying crime,” shelter president Carol Linville said. “We thought it was important for us to help.”

The Summerville Police Department is investigating the early Thursday incident, which is characterized as a theft. It’s thought that someone slithered under a garage door on Wilson Drive, opened the rabbits’ cages and removed them.

Pavlovich, who tends to 11 other rabbits that were inside the home at the time, theorized that the burglars took the three bunnies elsewhere and beat them. She found their bodies in her front yard after she awoke Thursday. One had been decapitated.

Summerville police Capt. Jon Rogers said Monday that the agency was “absolutely” taking the incident seriously and had assigned an officer to investigate. No suspects had been identified.

Pavlovich said the rabbits were valuable for breeding purposes and had bright futures ahead. For example, a female kitten of Moo Moo and Onyx, both of whom were slain last week, took two Best of Breed awards during a show Saturday in North Carolina.

Pavlovich lamented that she would not be able to breed the couple again and “get more beautiful babies.”

Anyone with information in the case should call the police at 871-2463.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or