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Reward Offered in Case of Dog Stuffed in Suitcase in Delaware County, Pennsylvania


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 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­stuffing a dog in a suitcase, zipping it shut and leaving the puppy to die next to a vacant house in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The Case: The Delaware County SPCA is investigating the death of the young dog, who was most likely alive when he or she was crammed and left to die inside a zipped suitcase.

On Feb. 18, law enforcement responded to a call about a dog’s legs sticking out of a suitcase left at West 2nd and Pusey Streets. Officials believe the suitcase was there for some time and that the dog, medium-sized with tan or brown hair, had been dead for weeks or months. The inside of the blue suitcase was torn from scratch marks, and the dog's teeth were clenched around an inner mesh liner as he or she fought to escape. The words Cayman Islands printed on the inside of the bag are the only identifying label.

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.

Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS, said: “Stuffing a puppy into a suitcase, zipping it shut and leaving the animal to die is horrific and also a crime. We hope our reward will help authorities find those responsible for death of this dog.”

Ron Riggle, Humane Society police officer for Delco SPCA, said: “This cannot happen, and this should not happen. Not only is it illegal, it's immoral, it's unethical, it's inhumane, it's unhuman.”

Rick Matelsky, executive director for Delco SPCA, said: “Let's not let this happen again, and let’s not let this dog die in vain. Report anything you might know to 610-566-1370, ext. 214.  If you see something, say something. We are their eyes and ears.”

The Investigators: The Delaware County SPCA is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 610-566-1370, ext. 214.

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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