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—intentionally burning a dog in Prince Georges County, Maryland. This adds to an existing $2,000 reward from the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George’s County.

The Case: Prince George's County Animal Management Division gives the following account: On Dec. 29, 2014, a one-year-old male grey and white pit bull type dog was found severely burned and huddled up in someone's backyard on the 8000 block of Poplar Hill Road in Clinton, Maryland. Veterinarian reports indicate the burn was intentional and most likely occurred with a scalding hot substance. The Humane Society of the Calvert County has taken in the dog, since named Leonidas, and will find him a new home once he recovers.

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.

Ashley Mauceri, manager of cruelty response for the HSUS, said, “I can’t imagine the suffering Leonidas must have endured as a result of this senseless act. We are so thankful he is recovering safely and hope our reward helps find whoever committed this despicable crime.”

Rodney Taylor, associate director of animal management division, said, “This heinous act of cruelty has affected our team to the point where we vow to use all resources to bring the person to justice. Although Leonidas has suffered severely by human hands, he remains loving and affectionate towards our staff.”

Prince George's County Animal Management Division is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 301-780-7243.

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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