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 burying a dog alive.

The Case: News reports give the following account: On Jan. 29 Milagros Claudio rescued the dog who was buried alive in in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Claudio took the dog, Zeus, to the San Miguel Veterinary clinic in Bayamón. However, due to the seriousness of his injuries, Zeus passed away on Feb. 1.

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.

It takes a truly callous person to hurt an animal and bury him alive” said Yolanda Álvarez, the Puerto Rico director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous crime."

"If anyone has any information regarding this crime, please contact the police department,” said Cynthia Cruz, coordinator of Act 154, which classifies animal cruelty as a felony. “Any information given is confidential.”

The Investigators: The Puerto Rico Police is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 787-343-2020.

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 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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