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 abandoning a puppy to freeze to death in a crate in Bath Township, Michigan.

The Case: News reports and law enforcement give the following account: On January 25, a Lansing-area family and their dogs visited the Rose Lake State Wildlife Research Area, just northeast of Lansing, for a hike. Arriving in the parking lot, the young daughter ran to investigate a dog crate nearby and found a small pit bull-type puppy lying outside of it, dead, frozen and covered in feces. It appeared someone had already opened the door of the crate to let out the puppy, but he had succumbed to the recent freezing temperatures.

Michigan’s animal cruelty statute prohibits a person from abandoning an animal or causing an animal to be abandoned, in any place, without making provisions for the animal’s adequate care.

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 leave this small, defenseless puppy to suffer and die in these painfully cold temperatures 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: Bath Township Police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact them at (517) 641-6271.

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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