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 at least four dogs in Anaconda, Montana.

The Case: The Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Department of Law Enforcement gives the following account: Four dogs are showing symptoms of possible strychnine poisoning, a pesticide typically used on birds and rodents. Two dogs are linked to eating the carcass of a deer left in West Valley Park that may be the source of secondary poisoning. Authorities believe the deer may have been left there on purpose. All of the dogs are recovering.

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.

Wendy Hergenraeder, Montana state director for the HSUS, said: “Leaving a poisonous deer carcass to rot in a park is not only negligent—it is a crime. The perpetrator put both animal and human lives at risk, and we hope this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous crime."

The Investigators: The Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Department of Law Enforcement is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (406) 563-5241.

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, visit our animal cruelty statistics page.

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