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 stabbing death of a bottlenose dolphin in Southwest Florida.

The Case:  On May 24, the National Marine Fisheries Service responded to a report of a dead bottlenose dolphin in upper Captiva Island, Florida. According to investigators, the dolphin had been stabbed in the head and appears to have bled to death. The position of the wound makes it appear that the dolphin had his head up out of the water at the time of the stabbing.

Animal Cruelty:  Federal agents with the National Marine Fisheries service are seeking the person responsible for this terrible act of cruelty to a dolphin. Violence against animals is a crime that affects entire communities. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and many other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault. 

“It takes a truly callous person to stab a gentle dolphin in the head,” said Kate MacFall, Florida state director for the Humane Society of the United States.  “Dolphins are among the most beloved of marine animals and there is absolutely no excuse for this wanton cruelty. Hopefully this reward offering encourages anyone with information about this brutal crime to come forward.”

The Investigators:  Law enforcement officials for the National Marine Fisheries Service are investigating. Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact the toll-free NOAA Office of Law Enforcement hotline to report any information in this case:  1-800-853-1964.  

Resources: The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Cruelty Campaign 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 works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

The Humane Society of the United States doubled its standard cruelty reward from $2,500 to $5,000 thanks to a generous donation from a board member. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.  

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