July 10, 2009
The HSUS Offers Reward In Grand Rapids Cat Burning Case
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for setting a cat on fire in Grand Rapids, Mich. last week.
The HSUS offer adds to a reward fund compiled by members of the community and other humane organizations, raising the total offered to $5,500.
News reports give the following account: On July 3, a cat with severe burns was taken to the Humane Society of Kent County by his owners after they found him hiding under the stairs of their Grand Rapids home. The cat — a 1 1/2-year-old orange-and-white tabby cat named Puppy — suffered third-degree burns on his ears, neck, back, legs and face. Half his whiskers were burned off, and his ears are so severely burned that they might flake off. He was relinquished to the shelter and renamed Hadley. Humane Society of Kent County officials believe Hadley was intentionally set on fire. He is in serious but stable condition and is to remain in intensive care for several weeks while his burns and infection are treated.
Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
"Those who abuse animals can be dangerous to people," said Jill Fritz, The Humane Society of the United States' Michigan state director. "Michiganians have no tolerance for violence against the creatures who share our world."
The Humane Society of Kent County is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Dr. Wendy Swift, the shelter's medical director, at 616-791-8218.
The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty. To see our journalists' animal cruelty resource guide, which includes information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, go to: humanesociety.org/crueltyresources.
Follow The Humane Society of the United States on Twitter.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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.