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 fatal poisoning of three dogs in Lafayette County, Wisconsin.

The Case:  On February 5, 2017, Travis Halvorson and Tracey Butson of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, found their three dogs dead in the yard of their home on Ballard Road. All three dogs had no visible signs of trauma but had foam around their mouths. The preliminary necropsy report indicated the dogs had been poisoned and the attending veterinarian believes the poisoning was intentional. Examinations of two of the dogs found evidence of ingestion of raw hamburger meat laced with a highly toxic sulfuric pesticide that has been banned in the United States. 

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents 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 defenseless family pets like these three dogs in Mineral Point,” said Melissa Tedrowe, The HSUS’ Wisconsin state director. “We hope our reward will help find the perpetrator of this horrible crime.”

The Investigators: The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.  Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Lafayette Crime Stoppers line at 800-606‐TIPS, or the Sheriff’s Office at 608-776-4870.

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 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 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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