SOUTH BEND, Ind.—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 dog with their muzzle bound shut with a zip-tie.

The Case: On Feb. 9, 2024, a Doberman pinscher named Bruno was found running at large near South Bend’s south side with a zip-tied muzzle. Good Samaritans caught Bruno and were then further assisted by the South Bend Police Department.

“We are extremely grateful that Bruno did not sustain any major, physical injuries, but I can only imagine the emotional turmoil he faced while he was abandoned with his mouth sealed shut,” said Samantha Chapman, Indiana state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “I thank the South Bend Animal Resource Center for taking Bruno’s case seriously and strongly encourage anyone with information pertaining to this extraordinarily cruel act to come forward so investigators can bring this case to justice.”

"Anyone that knows any information about Bruno's case and who tried to silence him, we ask that you please share it with the South Bend Animal Resource Center or the South Bend Police Department,” said Lindsey Cuellar, shelter manager for the South Bend Animal Resource Center. “We are proud to defend and be Bruno’s, and all animals who suffer abuse or neglect, voice through times like these."

Animal Cruelty: Securing the serious attention and engagement of law enforcement officials, 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.

The Investigators: South Bend Animal Resource Center is investigating this case. Anyone with relevant information is asked to call the South Bend Animal Resource Center at 574-233-0311.

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.

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