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—burning a puppy on the Red Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.

The Case: News reports give the following account: On Feb. 20, a passerby found a 5-month-old, male husky-mix puppy abandoned in a burning trash bin on the edge of a northern Minnesota reservation village. Once pulled to safety, the puppy, since named Phoenix, was brought to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue and then transported to ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation in Bloomington. Most of Phoenix’s hair was charred, his feet were very swollen on the left side, and he has significant burns on his knees. According to the veterinarian, he is about half the size he should be, most likely from malnourishment. Phoenix is currently recovering, but will require skin grafts over the next two to four months.

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.

Christine Coughlin, Minnesota state director for the HSUS, said: “Treating an innocent dog in such a cruel manner is disturbing and unacceptable. We’re so grateful to everyone working to give Phoenix a new start and are hopeful this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this terrible crime."

The Investigators: Red Lake Police Department is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Captain Dana Lyons, Jr. or Chief Conservation Officer Pat Graves at 218-679-3313.

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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