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 potential starvation death of two Ventura County, California dogs.

The Case: Ventura County Animal Services gives the following account: On Jan. 5, an anonymous caller discovered two adult pit bull type dogs, a brown male wearing a blue collar and a black and white female, lying dead in a dog igloo alongside South Mountain Road in Santa Paula, California. The dogs were severely emaciated and the county veterinarian reported their deaths are indicative of starvation.

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.

Eric Sakach, senior law enforcement specialist for the HSUS, said: “The degree of suffering inflicted on the dogs is absolutely unacceptable, and anyone responsible deserves to be brought to justice. We hope our reward will help uncover the perpetrator of this awful crime.”

The Investigators: Ventura County Animal Services is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Interim Field Operations Supervisor Bryan Bray at (805) 383-4717.

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.

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