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October 11, 2011

Reward Offered in Flint, Mich., Dogfighting Case

The HSUS is offering a reward of up to $5,000 in the case of a suspected fighting dog in Flint, Mich.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for abandoning a suspected fighting dog in Flint, Mich., on Sept. 30.

The Case: The Genesee Township Police Department gives the following account: On Sept. 30, a citizen reported seeing two young males get out of a dark blue, late model Chevy Impala and remove a trash bag from the vehicle. The men then put the bag in a ditch, and threw a sheet over it.The witness approached the men, but they fled. Inside the sealed trash bag was a young, chocolate-colored, female pit bull with extensive fight wounds and a mangled front leg. The dog was taken to a nearby emergency clinic where she was euthanized due to the extent of her injuries and grave prognosis. Law enforcement officials determined that the dog sustained extensive dogfighting injuries. Authorities will charge the perpetrators accordingly.

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 closely associated with other criminal activities such as gangs, narcotics, illegal weapons possession, public corruption and various violent 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 declare animal fighting a public nuisance. The Senate unanimously passed SB 356, 357 and 358, and they are now awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The U.S. Congress is also 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.
“Animal fighting will not be tolerated in our state. Dogfighting is a barbaric and sadistic crime,” said Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The HSUS. “We hope our reward helps motivate a conviction in this case.”

The Investigators: The Genesee Township Police Department is investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Jim Broughton at 810-640-2000 and press 1 or visit the agency’s office at 7244 North Genesee Road in Genesee, Mich. Tipsters may also call The HSUS' Tip Line at 1-877-TIP-HSUS (847-4787). Callers may remain anonymous, and identities are protected.

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. For more information, visit humanesociety.org

Media Contact: Pepper Van Tassell: 240-751-0232; pvantassell@humanesociety.org

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