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July 21, 2011

Reward Offered in Lansing, Mich., Abandonment of Suspected Fighting Dog

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 abandoning a suspected fighting dog in Lansing, Mich. If law enforcement officials determine that the dog sustained dogfighting injuries and charge the perpetrator accordingly—leading to a dogfighting conviction—the reward for information could double.

The Case: Ingham County Animal Control gives the following account: On Wednesday, Ingham County Animal Control officers found a 2-year-old male, dark-brindle dog tied to a tree behind Wexford Elementary School in the Pleasant Grove area of Lansing. Fresh wounds and old scars on the dog indicate that he may have been fought. The dog is now being treated by an Ingham County Animal Control veterinarian.

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. Animal fighting is also closely associated with other criminal activities such as gangs, narcotics, illegal weapons possession, public corruption and various violent crimes. A three-year study by the Chicago Police Department found that 70 percent of animal offenders had also been arrested for other felonies, including domestic and aggravated battery, illegal drug trafficking and sex crimes.

Dogfighting: The HSUS offers a standard reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a person or persons involved in dogfighting. The public has shown strong opposition to dogfighting and elected officials have taken notice. The Michigan state legislature is considering a package of bills that would list animal fighting as a predicate act in the state racketeering laws, allow for asset forfeiture, and to declare animal fighting a public nuisance. The U.S. Congress is considering H.R. 2492, legislation that would amend the federal animal fighting ban to include a ban on attending animal fights, with elevated penalties for bringing a child to an animal fight.

“Both animal abandonment and dogfighting are examples of nasty, callous behavior that need to be prosecuted,” said Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The HSUS. “We hope our reward helps motivate a conviction in this case.”

The Investigators: Ingham County Animal Control is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call (517) 676-8376, email the director at jmcaloon@ingham.org, or visit the agency’s office at 600 Curtis St., in Mason, Mich.

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 and fighting cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

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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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