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Reward Offered in Columbus Burning Death of Kittens

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 burning a litter of newborn kittens alive.

The Case: According to news reports, a litter of kittens was killed after being set on fire near a backyard patio of a North Linden home. Five kittens, all younger than two weeks old, were killed. The mother cat escaped with minor burns and is being treated at Capital Area Humane Society. Investigators are unclear what, if any, accelerant was used. The cat and kittens were family pets who spent time outside.

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.

Karen Minton, The HSUS’ Ohio state director, said: “The torture these kittens endured is sickening to think about, and we are glad law enforcement is investigating this despicable crime. Meanwhile, Ohio remains one of three states with no first-time felony offense for animal cruelty. It is unacceptable that a person must commit multiple incidents of animal abuse before receiving a penalty that fits the crime.”

Kerry Manion, chief humane agent for Capital Area Humane Society, said: “Particularly disturbing is the fact that this brazen act of cruelty took place in a family neighborhood in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon with people at home in the residence. We are hopeful that someone in the area saw or heard something or has knowledge of the person or persons responsible.”

The Investigators: Anyone with information should contact the Capital Area Humane Society at (614)777-7387 ext. 250

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, go to humanesociety.org.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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