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 shooting of two dogs and two cats near their owners’ homes in the Ypsilanti and Montpelier areas of Stutsman County, North Dakota.
The Case: News reports give the following account: On Aug. 9, the perpetrators shot repeatedly at two Pyrenees dogs, Gracie and Georgia Rose, while they were in their owner’s yard. The shooters fired a .22-caliber rifle once at Gracie, and a shotgun three times at Georgia. Both dogs are recovering from their wounds.
Detective Major Jason Falk with the Stutsman County’s Sheriff Office provided details on the subsequent deaths of the two cats. On Aug. 26, Michael Keyes arrived at his home in the Ypsilanti-area around 5:30 p.m. and found his cat dead with a gunshot wound to the head from a small-caliber rifle.
On Sept. 7, Jenny Olson found her cat shot in the stomach in the yard of her Ypsilanti home. She rushed the cat to a veterinarian, but the animal died the next day from sustained injuries.
Falk stated that the two cats were wearing collars, so the shooters must have known they were pets. North Dakota’s animal abuse statute prohibits any act resulting in physical injury to an animal or causes their death, including the tragic shootings of these four animals.
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.
“There is no excuse for killing these defenseless cats, and wounding these two dogs,” said TJ Jerke, North Dakota state director for the HSUS. “It’s a very sad and concerning story to see beloved members of these families brutally shot near their homes, and we hope this reward will help catch those responsible for these abusive acts.”
The Stutsman County Sheriff’s is investigating, and anyone with information about the case is asked to call Major Jason Falk at 701-251-6200.
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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- Media Relations