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 setting a puppy on fire in Pomona, California.

The Case: On Monday Dec. 7, a good Samaritan found a puppy whimpering in an alley on the 900 block of Loma Vista Street in Pomona. He stated that the puppy “smelled of burnt flesh” and rushed the puppy to the Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA. The veterinarians who treated the puppy concluded that he was covered in 2nd degree burns over much of his body, with singed hair and visible damage to the skin.

The puppy, who has been dubbed Rocket, is described as an eight-week-old male Chihuahua mix without a collar tag or microchip. Rocket is in critical condition under 24-hour-care. The Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA is investigating the case and believes that it was a deliberate act of animal cruelty.

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.

Courtney Fern, California state director for the HSUS said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the heinous and cruel act that has been perpetrated against Rocket. Burning a puppy and leaving him for dead is reprehensible and a crime. We hope our reward helps find the person or persons who committed this despicable act.”

Bill Harford, the president of the Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA, said: “Our community is not safe until the person who committed this heinous act is caught. To hurt an innocent puppy the way Rocket was hurt is sick and inexcusable. Our organization will do everything possible to find the perpetrator responsible for this. We are thankful for all the support, both local and national, that we have received for Rocket's medical needs and we are committed to providing him with the best care possible.”

The Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 909-623-9777.

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.

Support the work of our Animal Cruelty and Fighting Campaign. Donate Now

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