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The Humane Society of the United States Offers Reward in Vermont Horse Mutilation Case

UPDATE: The Essex Police Department reports that Nellie was injured due to the ingestion of a poisonous—and potentially fatal—grass, the reaction to which manifested as an apparent burn to her face. We are glad Nellie is on the mend, and have pulled our reward offer in this 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 blinding and disfiguring a horse in Essex, Vt.

The Case: The Essex Police Department gives the following account: Overnight May 16, someone used an unknown chemical to blind and severely burn a 13-year-old paint mare named Nellie at her Essex, Vt., farm. Nellie’s owner discovered a slimy substance on her horse’s face, extending from her forehead to her nostrils, when she went to feed Nellie that morning. The horse’s veterinarian determined that Nellie suffered a chemical burn. Surgery to mend Nellie’s injuries is expected to cost about $2,000. The Spring Hill Horse Rescue is helping the owner with veterinary expenses.

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 act of violence against this innocent horse is sickening,” said Joanne Bourbeau, northeastern regional director for The HSUS. “Nellie will no doubt face months of recovery from her injuries, and her owner is facing thousands of dollars in veterinary expenses. We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous crime.”

The Investigators: Essex Police Department Cpl. Ed Piro is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call him at 802-878-8331.

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 information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.  

Media Contact: Pepper Van Tassell: 301-258-1417; pvantassell@humanesociety.org

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