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Reward Offered in Shelter Break-In Case in Jurupa Valley, CA

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 breaking into Riverside County Animal Services’ Jurupa Valley Animal Shelter.

The Case: At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 13, Riverside County Animal Services personnel arrived at the Riverside County Animal Shelter at 6851 Van Buren Blvd. and discovered an apparent break-in at the facility. Some dogs had been killed, blood was spattered on the walls and other dogs were missing. According to John Welsh, the department spokesmen for Riverside County Department of Animal Services, one or more persons broke into the facility late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. After gaining entry, someone used bolt cutters to cut locks on kennel gates.

The perpetrator(s) released 40 dogs. Deceased dogs included a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire terrier. The cause of death has not been determined, but veterinarians ruled out death caused by other dogs. A German shepherd and a pit bull mix were found dead on nearby roads, both apparently hit by cars. Seven dogs are still missing.

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.

Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist for The Humane Society of the United States, said: "Public animal shelters are intended to be safe and temporary havens for lost, surrendered and displaced animals. The break-in and the subsequent acts constitute multiple felony crimes. We're hopeful someone will do the right thing and contact authorities if they have any information connected to this case."

The Investigators: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Investigator T. Gonzales at the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s station at 951-955-2600.

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 National Sheriffs’ Association and The HSUS recently launched ICE BlackBox, a free smartphone tool, to allow users to record video of illegal animal cruelty and share it securely with law enforcement for possible investigation and prosecution. 

The HSUS recently doubled its standard cruelty reward from $2,500 to $5,000 thanks to a generous donation from an HSUS board member. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.  

Media Contact: Samantha Miller: 301-258-1466; smiller@humanesociety.org

Donate now to support the work of our Animal Cruelty and Fighting campaign»