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 shooting a dog in Vance County, North Carolina. The dog survived and is currently stable.

The Case: On December 16 at approximately 4 p.m., Vance County Animal Control was dispatched to respond to a call regarding a dog who had been shot. Upon their arrival they found a 1 1/2-year-old mixed breed dog named Bella with a gunshot wound to her front chest and an exit wound on the right side of her chest. According to her owners, Bella was chained within their fenced yard when a man walked by and shot Bella with a handgun and then pointed the gun towards Bella's owners, stating he would come back and kill them if they contacted law enforcement. Vance County Animal Control rushed Bella to a local veterinarian. Bella is currently stable and is expected to make a full recovery. The Vance County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Animal Cruelty: 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. Securing the serious attention and engagement of law enforcement officials, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the whole community.

“It is a terrible act of cruelty to randomly shoot an innocent dog who is unable to defend herself,” said Gail Thomssen, North Carolina state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We hope this reward encourages anyone with information to come forward.”

The Investigators: Anyone with information should contact Animal Services Director Frankie Nobles at  FNobles@vancecounty.org or Detective Will Bartholomew at Wbartholomew@vancecounty.org.

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 is offering $2,500 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the person responsible for this crime. More information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories.

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