The HSUS Offers Reward in Chicago Dog Burning Case

The Humane Society of the United States
Friday, 15 August 2003

Cook County Crime Stoppers Seeking Leads in Case Apparently Tied to Dog Fighting

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, in cooperation with Cook County Crime Stoppers, is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the torture of a pit bull dog found set afire in Chicago on August 11, 2003.

The young brown and white dog had been chained to a fence in a South Side alley and set on fire. Residents in the 7200 block of South Oakley Avenue in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood reported hearing howls and barking from the pit bull around 2 a.m. Reportedly, the dog survived the fire despite being burned over 70 percent of his body. The dog was later euthanized due to the extent of his injuries. According to a spokesperson for Chicago Animal Care and Control, the dog had flesh wounds on his body that indicated he was used for dog fighting. It is possible that the dog was set on fire as a form of punishment for losing a fight.

"Anyone capable of such a vicious act on a defenseless animal poses a potential danger to other animals and people in the community," says Phil Snyder, director of The HSUS Central States Regional Office. "The connection between animal abuse and violence against humans is well documented. I hope this reward will help bring those responsible for this crime to justice before another animal or possibly a person gets hurt. It would not be surprising to learn that this unfortunate creature had also been used in the brutal 'sport' of dog fighting before dying in such a horrific manner."

"The Humane Society of the United States and Cook County Crime Stoppers have worked on similar animal cruelty cases," said George McDade, chairman of Cook County Crime Stoppers. "In addition to specific cases of cruelty, we support the organization's First Strike Campaign® which raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal abuse and human violence. We are pleased to team up again with The Humane Society of the United States to get information on this—and any other—animal cruelty case in Chicago."

In Illinois, animal torture is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine up to $50,000.

The Chicago Police Department is vigorously pursuing this case. Anyone with information about this case is urged to please contact Cook County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP, Sgt. Steve Brownstein with the Chicago Police Department at 312-571-6939 or Chicago Animal Care and Control at 312-747-1406.

The HSUS is dedicated to protecting all animals through legislation, education, investigation, litigation, advocacy and fieldwork. The HSUS has programs protecting wildlife, companion animals, farm animals and animals in research. The HSUS is headquartered in Washington, DC and has 10 regional offices. The HSUS Central States Regional Office serves IL, WI, KY, TN, and NC. For more information about animal fighting or The HSUS First Strike Campaign, visit The HSUS on the Web at www.hsus.org/firststrike.

Cook County Crime Stoppers brings together citizens, law enforcement agencies, businesses and the media to fight felony-level crime. It encourages people to anonymously report tips on crime and thereby be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. People can call 1-800-535-STOP any time, any day to report their tips. Callers never have to give their name, just their information. Crime Stoppers gets these tips to the proper law enforcement agency for action. Crime Stoppers has programs to combat illegal gun possession and use, domestic violence, fraud, illegal drug and gang activity, auto theft, campus violence and felony-level animal abuse, among others.

For more information, or to contact The Humane Society of the United States, see their website at: www.hsus.org

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