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December 10, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Offers Reward in Oklahoma City Dog Cruelty Case

German shepherd, Rookie, was thrown from bridge onto busy highway, listed in critical condition

  • The HSUS is funding Rookie's veterinary treatment. The bill came to more than $5,000. Deputy Shawn Shelby/Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

Editor's note, Dec. 21, 2012: Cynthia Armstrong, our Oklahoma state director, sent this update about Rookie and his new family:

Rookie is a beautiful dog and was a favorite with the vet students and instructors. He gave me a big kiss when he met me. Rookie’s new adoptive family was so excited about taking him home, which they did on Monday.

Rookie will need crate rest for the next couple of months and must walk with the aid of a sling under his belly when he goes outside, but he is lucky to have his leg. Veterinary surgeons at OSU School of Veterinary medicine did an outstanding job to save the leg, and expect him to make a full recovery. The veterinary surgeons also trained Trooper Fisher to do physical therapy with Rookie.

Trooper Fisher, her husband, and their children expressed their heartfelt appreciation for The HSUS's generous financial assistance with Rookie's veterinary care and the reward offer.

Editor's note, Dec. 14, 2012: Cynthia Armstrong sent this update about Rookie's condition:

I received a great report yesterday on Rookie's condition. His surgery went very well and Rookie is already able to put some weight on the leg. It was so badly damaged they were concerned they might have to amputate but wanted to try to save his leg since he is such a young dog. They are beginning to lower his pain meds and he should be ready to go home on Monday.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer who first responded to the scene is adopting him. She's been travelling back and forth to Stillwater [veterinary school] to check on him and wanted to be with him as much as possible, so he's going to have a great home. Thank you again for all of your assistance.


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 throwing a German shepherd dog off a bridge and onto an interstate highway in Oklahoma City.

The Case: The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office gives the following account: On Wednesday, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol regarding an eyewitness report that a German shepherd was thrown from a bridge on S.E. 59th Street into traffic on I-40. The dog was identified through a tag on his collar as Rookie. He is in critical condition with several injuries, including an open fracture on his rear left leg, and he is also suffering from internal bleeding. An Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office animal welfare deputy transported Rookie to the Deer Creek Animal Hospital in Harrah, Okla., where he was initially treated, but due to the severity of his injuries, Rookie was transferred to the Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine where he will be undergoing surgery. The Humane Society of the United States is covering the cost of veterinary expenses for Rookie.

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.

“Throwing a dog off a bridge into certain death is horribly cruel and also a serious crime in Oklahoma,” said Cynthia Armstrong, The HSUS’ Oklahoma state director. “We hope our reward helps find the person or persons who committed this despicable act.”

The Investigators: The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (405) 869-2501.

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.  

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

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