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 taping a dog’s muzzle shut in Charleston, S.C. Charleston Animal Society is also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

The Case: News reports give the following account: On May 27, a neighborhood stray dog named Caitlyn was found with electrical tape tightly wound around her muzzle, cutting off circulation to her tongue and preventing her from eating or drinking. The dog is a 15-month-old chocolate Staffordshire terrier mix, and she is currently in critical condition and being treated at the Charleston Animal Society.

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.

Kimberly Kelly, South Carolina state director for the HSUS, said: “Caitlyn is a friendly dog who may have suffered for days and is now fighting for her life. Anyone capable of such a heartless act of cruelty should be held accountable, and we hope this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

North Charleston Animal Control is investigating the case and looking for whoever is responsible. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Aldwin Roman with the Charleston Animal Society at 843-329-1545.

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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