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December 19, 2012

The HSUS Offers Reward in Intentional Trapping of Hebron, Ind., Dog

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 killing a Northwest Indiana dog named Pearl. The chained dog stepped into a trap that was intentionally set in close proximity to her temporary post, according to police.

The Case: News reports give the following account: On Dec. 9, a Hebron, Ind., family dog died after stepping into a trap intentionally set in close proximity to the cherry tree where she was tethered. Pearl, a friendly dog who “tried to kiss everyone,” according to her owner, Cheryl Alt, was put outside on her chain in the morning. Shortly after, Alt found Pearl caught in the trap, struggling with her head pinched in its jaws and bleeding from the mouth.

Police said Pearl’s death was no accident.“A trap like that, you’d have to put some kind of bait on it to get the animal to come to it,” said Hebron Police Officer Casey Robinson. “Whoever set the trap out had to have baited it, and more than likely unchained the dog so that when it did snap on its head, it took off running.”

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.

“It takes a calculated and exceedingly callous person to set a trap and lure a friendly family dog to it, knowing that the only outcome for the animal is a prolonged and grisly death,” said Anne Sterling, Indiana state director for The HSUS. “We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this tragic crime.”

The Investigators: The Hebron Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Chief Steven Sibbrell at 219-996-2747

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. The HSUS recently doubled its standard cruelty reward from $2,500 to $5,000 thanks to a generous donation from HSUS board member Cathy Kangas and her husband Ed Kangas of New Canaan, Conn. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.

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

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