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August 20, 2010

Reward Offered in Arkansas Shelter Break-In

The HSUS offers reward in Bella Vista Animal Shelter dog theft

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 breaking into the Bella Vista Animal Shelter and taking two dogs.

The Case: The Bella Vista Police Department gives the following account: Overnight Wednesday, someone scaled the fence bordering Bella Vista Animal Shelter, crawled through a dog door into the kennel and took two animals. The two pit bulls who were taken had multiple wounds and severe cases of mange, and were being treated at the shelter for severe skin infections since their arrival three weeks ago. One pit bull is a red male, who isn't neutered, and the other is a blue female, who has cropped ears and is missing about 90 percent of her hair.  

Animal Cruelty: 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.

"This incident is a tragedy, not only for the dogs, but for the hard-working shelter staff trying to do the best for the animals in their community," said Desiree Bender, The HSUS' Arkansas state director. "We hope our reward helps identify the perpetrator of this crime so he or she can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law"

The Investigators: The Bella Vista Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (479) 855-3771.

Resources: 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.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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.

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