The Humane Society of the United States is proud to honor Officer Christopher J. Collins with a 2021 Humane Law Enforcement Award. Officer Collins and the Cedar Rapids Police Department led an investigation, leading to charges in an animal neglect case involving an extremely malnourished German shepherd named Luna.
Luna was originally surrendered to Wildthunder Wildlife & Animal Rehabilitation & Sanctuary in Independence, Iowa, in July of 2020. The rescue organization’s director immediately began documenting Luna’s condition and worked with several veterinarians to rapidly improve Luna’s health. It became apparent that Luna had been deprived of food and was suffering from long-term neglect.
Officer Collins launched an investigation and, upon reviewing the veterinarians’ statements and medical evaluations, he arrested a suspect on charges of animal neglect. The suspect pleaded guilty to the crime.
The HSUS Humane Law Enforcement Awards are presented annually to officers who have taken an exemplary stand against animal cruelty. The HSUS works diligently nationwide to enact laws that protect all animals, and this work is most effective with the support of law enforcement.
“We are proud to present a 2021 Humane Law Enforcement Award to Officer Collins,” says Preston Moore, Iowa state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Cedar Rapids Police Department for their leadership in combatting animal cruelty.”
“I commend and thank Officer Collins for his actions in this incident. Officer Collins displayed outstanding judgement and compassion for one of our four legged friends who needed help. His drive and commitment are appreciated by me, and this recognition by the Humane Society of the United States is a true testament to Officer Collins and his character,” says Cedar Rapids Chief of Police Wayne Jerman.
Officer Collins has also previously shown initiative in helping improve animal welfare conditions in Cedar Rapids by enrolling in a law enforcement training course hosted by the Humane Society of the United States and the Ottumwa Police Department in 2020.
“I am so thankful for Officer Collins’ personal, proactive investment in his professional education. This training has already made a difference in our community and I know he will inspire others to learn more about how to advocate and champion the animals in our community. Cedar Rapids should be very proud of his example and the outcome of this case,” says Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Ashley Vanorny.
The Humane Society of the United States is proud to collaborate with law enforcement who are making our communities safer for animals and people. To that end, we partner with officials across the country on a wide array of investigations, trainings and legislation. Our work with law enforcement officials touches upon the entire spectrum of the justice system, from sheriffs to prosecutors to offices of attorneys general.