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 blinding a cat in Bay City, Michigan. The Humane Society of Bay County has added $1,000 to the reward offer, bringing the total to $6,000.

The Case: News reports and law enforcement give the following account: On Jan. 9, a concerned resident informed Bay County Animal Control that she found a small male cat with severe head trauma, who had become frozen to the porch of her home just northwest of Bay City. She took the cat to the Veterinary Health Center in Saginaw, where the veterinarian found that both eyes had been ruptured. His nose and eyes were bleeding and severely bruised, and his jaw bone was lacerated. Both eyes were so severely damaged that they had to be removed. The cat, named “Ace” by his rescuers, is now recovering from surgery.

Katherine Roggenbeck, DVM of the Veterinary Health Center determined that Ace’s injuries were not accidental. “In my entire career, I have never witnessed a more vicious attack on an animal,” she stated in her report. “Sadly, evidence rules out being hit by a car or attacked by an animal. Instead, this cat’s injuries were the result of the unthinkable…the deliberate act of a human.”

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.

Jill Fritz, Michigan senior state director for the HSUS, said: “A person who would deliberately maim and mutilate this small, innocent cat is a danger to the community at large. We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information and help investigators find the person responsible for this heinous crime."

The Investigators: Bay County Animal Control is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Animal Control Officer Olivia Shields at 989-233-2933 or Animal Control Director Michael Halstead at 989-894-0670.  

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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