The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for stealing a family’s pony, dragging him by car on a paved road and then torturing him with unspeakable acts of violence.

The Case: The Minidoka County Sheriff’s Department received a report on Sept. 6 of a severely injured pony named Patches. Patches was found covered in blood, his eyes swollen shut from blunt force trauma to the head and his knees ground down to the bone from being dragged from a car before the perpetrator cut off his genitals. The pony appeared to have been stabbed in numerous areas with a sharp object. After a veterinarian examined him he was humanely euthanized.

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.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more vicious attack on an animal,” said Lisa Kauffman, the HSUS’ Idaho state director. “Patches was an aging pony who was a neighborhood favorite with the local children. To be beaten, tortured, mutilated and then left to die in immense pain is the work of an individual you want behind bars. You do not want this person living next to you or in your community. This crime deserves a first offense felony conviction, but since animal cruelty in Idaho is a misdemeanor unless it’s the person’s third offense, this person, when caught, may not get the punishment they deserve.”

The Investigators: The Minidoka County Sheriff’s Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 208-434-2320.

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 HSUS offers up to a $5,000 reward for animal cruelty cases but in this particular case, a HSUS donor who is devoted to equine issues donated an additional $5,000. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, visit our animal cruelty statistics page.

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