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 the cruel and violent deaths of approximately a dozen chickens throughout the state of Rhode Island.
The Case: Over the past year and a half, the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals has investigated multiple complaints regarding dead chickens who appear to have been sacrificed throughout the state but has not been able to identify the person or persons responsible. The first chickens were found around City Hall in Warwick, Rhode Island; investigators suspect the birds were likely killed somewhere else and later transported to that location. One bird was found on the side of the road, one in a park, three in someone’s front yard, another in a small park in Woonsocket, and another in a local cemetery.
On necropsy, all the chickens showed some level of injuries and appeared to have been suspended upside down by their legs (ligature marks were present on all their legs). One hen had internal trauma and appeared to have been hit with something. Another two hens appeared to have been stomped to death. The cruel ways these animals were killed caused them significant suffering, and were clearly in violation of the state’s animal cruelty statute.
Animal Cruelty: The serious attention and engagement of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of animal cruelty is an essential component of protecting the whole community. The connection between animal cruelty and violence toward people is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and many other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.
The Investigators: The Rhode Island SPCA is investigating this case. Anyone with relevant information is asked to call the Rhode Island SPCA at 401-438-8150, ext. 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources: The Humane Society of the United States raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources and support to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. We offer rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and work to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.
- Erica Heffner