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Reward Offered in Large-Scale Cruelty Case in Searcy County, Arkansas

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 poisoning, shooting, maiming and/or killing  60 dogs in Searcy County, Arkansas.

The Case: On Thursday Dec. 17, authorities were notified about upwards of 57 dead dogs who suffered from multiple gun shots in an uninhabited timber property. Officers from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were the first responders on the scene and found scores of dead dogs and numerous dying or seriously injured dogs in a remote, wooded area off Arkansas Highway 254 in the Chimes/Trace Ridge area.

According to Searcy County Sheriff Joey Pruitt the perpetrator(s) brought more than 60 dogs to the crime scene. Evidence suggests the dogs were given over-the-counter sleep aids hidden in hot dogs before the perpetrator opened fire. Pruitt said none of the dogs had collars or name tags, and they could have been on the property for two or three days. Five dogs were found alive , but had to be euthanized because of severe injuries. The Searcy County Humane Society is caring for and providing medical treatment to four of the remaining dogs who survived the massacre.

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.

Chris Schindler, director of Animal Crimes for The HSUS said: “This grisly and heinous act of violence against these poor dogs is extremely disturbing, especially considering the connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. The person or persons responsible for this extreme act of violence needs to be caught. We're hopeful someone will do the right thing and contact authorities if they have any information connected to this case."

Jean Passmore, Searcy County Humane Society treasurer, said: “This appears to be the most brutal, deliberate and premeditated case of mass animal cruelty this state has ever had and will not be tolerated by the good people of our state and elsewhere. Sheriff Joey Pruitt and our organization will do everything possible to find the perpetrator(s) responsible for this. We are thankful for all the support, both locally and nationally.”

The Investigators: Searcy County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call 870-448-2340.

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 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 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       


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