October 27, 2009
The HSUS Offers Reward in East Valley, Ariz. Cat Mutilations
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 maiming or killing at least 14 cats in the East Valley. Police believe the attacks are connected.
The Maricopa Sheriff's Office gives the following account: In recent weeks, at least 14 cats in the East Valley have turned up dead or injured. Police said the perpetrator is cutting the animals, leaving a long, deep stab wound along the back of each cat, all of whom were family pets in the communities of Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and East Phoenix. Two cats have died as a result of their injuries, while the remaining cats underwent costly veterinary care.
"We need help to find these perpetrators. At this point in our investigation, we have no leads and no suspects," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "But someone out there knows who is doing this and we need that person to contact us with their information."
Arpaio said police do not believe the killings are connected to satanic activity despite the cases' proximity to Halloween.
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.
"Anyone who is capable of maiming or killing cats like this can pose a danger to people," said Kari Nienstedt, The HSUS' Arizona state director. "The Humane Society of the United States always urges pet owners to keep their cats indoors to not only protect them from cars and wildlife, but from people who might want to harm them."
The Maricopa Sheriff's Office is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff's animal abuse hotline at 602-876-1681.
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.
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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.