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 the apparent abandonment of a kitten in Garrett County, Maryland.

The Case: According to Garrett County Humane Society Animal Control Officer, Deb Clatterbuck: On June 30, a Broadford Lake Park employee found an abandoned kitten buried under pounds of refuse while he was emptying a trashcan. The approximately 8-week old, black kitten, named Little Black Beauty by Clatterbuck, was covered with an estimated 40-pounds of trash. She was removed from the bin safely. Had she not been found, she may have died from suffocation or been crushed in the park’s trash compactor. GCHS staff later transported her to Countryside Veterinary Hospital where veterinarian Dr. Paul Deal examined her, noting that she was an otherwise healthy and loving kitten. Dr. Deal anticipates a full recovery.

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.

Emily Hovermale, The HSUS’ Maryland state director said: “It takes a truly callous person to treat a defenseless kitten like she is nothing more than trash to be thrown away and left to die. We hope our reward will bring someone forward with information on the person responsible for this cruel abandonment and abuse.”

Peggy Jamison, Mayor of Oakland, Maryland said: “Discarding a kitten in the trash, or discarding any animal without regard for its wellbeing is inexcusable. There are organizations here in Garrett County that will take unwanted pets and care for them until a caring and loving home can be found for them. The Garrett County Humane Society, HART for Animals and the county’s animal shelter all offer unwanted pets a temporary safe home. There is no reason to discard a living, breathing creature with the resources that are available here in Garrett County.”

Clatterbuck said: "Little Black Beauty is safe in the care of GCHS. I strongly encourage everyone that visited Broadford Lake Park on Friday, June 30th to please contact my office. You may have seen something important and don't realize it. I know that the $5,000 reward that The HSUS is offering will encourage people to come forward and solve this case of Aggravated Animal Cruelty."

The Investigators: Garrett County Humane Society, an independent entity unaffiliated with The HSUS s investigating, and anyone with information should contact them at 301-334-4470.

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 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, visit our animal cruelty statistics page.

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