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January 7, 2011

The HSUS Offers Reward in St. Petersburg, Fla., Dog Abuse 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 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­attempting to crop the ears of a puppy in St. Petersburg. The HSUS reward is in addition to $700 offered by SPCA Tampa Bay and community members, raising the total reward offered to $3,200.

The Case:

SPCA Tampa Bay gives the following account: On Thursday, St. Petersburg Police officers found Nikki, a 3-month-old boxer/pit bull-mix puppy, with bloody ears tied with rubber bands—an apparent botched at-home ear cropping. The original owner tipped police off to the alleged abuse. The puppy had reportedly been surrendered to another man named Derrick last week, but officers are still trying to determine who inflicted the injuries on Nikki. She underwent surgery Thursday to remove her necrotic ears, and has been given medication for pain and to stave infection. Nikki’s story comes one year after Bumble, a Pinellas County German shepherd mix-dog arrived at SPCA Tampa Bay with similar injuries, sparking outrage among community residents.

“This is animal cruelty in one of the worst ways and someone needs to be held accountable for their actions,” said SPCA Tampa Bay Lead Investigator Jill Purl.

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.

“Home cropping dogs' ears using rubber bands causes prolonged suffering and is also a crime,” said Adam Parascandola, The HSUS’ director of animal cruelty issues. “We hope our reward helps hold those responsible for this act accountable for their cruel actions.”

The Investigators:

SPCA Tampa Bay is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call its Animal Cruelty Investigations line at 727-586-3591, ext. 135. Callers can remain anonymous.

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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