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 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­allegedly physically and sexually abusing a puppy and abandoning her near Fort Dupont Park in Southeast Washington, D.C. This is in addition to a $5,000 reward being offered by the Humane Rescue Alliance, bringing the total reward fund to $10,000.

The Case: According to the Humane Rescue Alliance, on Tuesday, Aug. 11, the agency received a call about a female puppy who was apparently abandoned near Fort Dupont Park. When an animal control officer arrived on scene, they found a critically injured, 7-month-old puppy, who they named Luna, lying in the grass on the side of the road. The officer offered Luna water and treats, and she began to wag her tail.

The officer observed blood on her neck and open wounds on her chest. Her hind legs were so badly injured that she could not walk. The officer immediately transferred Luna to Friendship Hospital for Animals for urgent veterinary care.

Veterinarians at the hospital determined Luna had five broken vertebrae, two of which required surgical stabilization, two possible stab wounds on her chest, a dislocated hip that may need surgical repair in the future and additional trauma. Other injuries indicate she had been brutally sexually abused and was likely strangled. Veterinarians were able to determine these injuries occurred over weeks due to the varying stages of healing of each injury.

Veterinarians are optimistic that Luna will recover and that she will have a good quality of life in spite of what she has endured, and may even walk again.

Animal Cruelty: Securing the serious attention and engagement of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the whole community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and many other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“Anyone who would brutally abuse an animal in this manner is clearly a danger to the community,” said Molly Armus, District of Columbia director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We hope that this reward will bring forward anyone with information and help investigators find the person responsible for this heinous crime.”

The Investigators: HRA is investigating this case. Anyone with relevant information is asked to call 202-723-5730, option 3 or email imatheson@humanerescuealliance.org.

Resources: The Humane Society of the United States raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources and support to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. We offer rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

The Humane Society of the United States doubled its standard cruelty reward from $2,500 to $5,000 thanks to a generous donation from a board member. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.  

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