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Reward Offered in Preston County, West Virginia Dog Cruelty Case

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 maliciously torturing a dog by zip-tying his testicles in Howesville, West Virginia.

The Case: On Jan. 7, Preston County Animal Shelter director Brittaney Shearer responded to a call about a dog, now named Cuffs. A resident found the dog on her property and contacted authorities. According to Shearer, someone had zip-tied the dog’s testicles together. Cuffs was in excruciating pain and in need immediate veterinary attention.

Cuffs is recovering after surgery.  Shearer notes he is energetic and friendly, and will be placed up for adoption once the investigation is over.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents 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.

Under West Virginia’s State Code, a person who intentionally tortures, mutilates or kills an animal or causes another person to do so is guilty of felony.

Heather Servert, West Virginia state director for The HSUS said: “While Cuffs is safe in the care of the Preston County Animal Shelter, I am fearful for any other animals who may encounter or reside with the individual or individuals responsible for this act. The pain this dog suffered was both horrifying and unnecessary. We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous crime.”

The Investigators: The Preston County Sheriff's Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Cpl. Rodeheaver at the Preston County Sheriff's Office at 304-329-1611 or The HSUS at westvirginia@humanesociety.org.

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

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