February 6, 2009
The HSUS Receives Award from Crime Stoppers for Work to Combat Poaching
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — At a press conference today in Fort Lauderdale, Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade presented their Director's Award to The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust. The award, given by Crime Stoppers Executive Director Richard Masten, acknowledges the support of The HSUS and the Wildlife Land Trust in solving a crocodile poaching case in December.
The presentation took place at the SPCA Wildlife Care Center, with the center's managing director J. Kevin Hertell accepting the award on behalf of The HSUS.
The HSUS and the Wildlife Land Trust contributed a reward of $2,500 that helped lead to a tip from a confidential informant in the poaching case. Two suspects, a juvenile and an adult, have been charged with illegally killing an American crocodile in September on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, Fla. The reward money totaled $8,500, with additional contributions from Crime Stoppers and CompUSA.
Richard Masten, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade, said, "We strongly believe that the fast response and participation of The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust made a tremendous difference in leading to the confidential tips that solved the case."
"Poaching is a serious crime that all too often goes unpunished, and we thank enforcement authorities for doggedly pursuing a resolution," said Andrew Page, director of the wildlife abuse campaign for The HSUS. "We look forward to continuing to work with Crime Stoppers to send a message to poachers to think twice before robbing Florida's citizens of valued wildlife."
American crocodiles are listed as endangered in southern Florida, and they live nowhere else in the United States. The suspects allegedly stabbed and decapitated the crocodile, who was considered an unofficial mascot on the university campus. Multiple charges have been filed against the two defendants, including felony animal cruelty, killing an endangered or threatened species and grand theft.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.
Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.
Serving the Southeast Florida region for 40 years, the mission of the SPCA Wildlife Care Center (WCC) is to rescue, rehabilitate and release native wildlife that has been harmed or displaced; to treat and place certain domestic, exotic, and farm animals; and to educate the public toward co-existence with all animals. With 4.5 acres of property, three full-time ambulances, up to 65 employees and up to 500 active volunteers, the WCC is home to up to 875 injured, harmed or orphaned wildlife at any given time. Last year alone nearly 13,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals were admitted to the SPCA Wildlife Care Center. For more information, please visit WildlifeCareCenter.org.