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October 19, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Offers Reward in Long Island, N.Y., Boa Constrictor Abandonment 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 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­abandoning a 3-foot boa constrictor in Mastic, N.Y.

The Case: News reports give the following account: On Oct. 10, a boa constrictor was found abandoned in a broken fish tank at the intersection of Mastic Road and Roberts Road in Mastic. Responding to a 911 call for assistance, police and Suffolk County SPCA investigators took the ailing boa to a local rescue organization for care. The snake later died of injuries incurred from either abandonment or neglect, according to a 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.

“This is the latest in a string of cases involving the abandonment of dangerous snakes and other reptiles in New York. We hope this reward will encourage people to come forward with information about this terrible crime,” said Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “This illustrates the need for laws restricting the private possession of dangerous wild animals, and for the U.S. Congress to pass H.R. 511, which would stop the importation and interstate commerce of deadly giant constrictor snakes for the pet trade. The trade in these non-native snakes threatens public safety, animal welfare and the environment.”

Roy Gross, Suffolk County SPCA chief said, “This is a perfect example of someone with no regard for the welfare of animals and who endangered the public by releasing this snake. These reptiles pose a risk to humans and other animals. They are unpredictable, can be extremely dangerous and should not be kept as pets. The Suffolk County SPCA strongly supports H.R. 511.”

The Investigators: The Suffolk County SPCA is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (631) 382-7722.

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: 240-751-0232; pvantassell@humanesociety.org

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