American Humane Donates to Abused Puppy's Care, Calls for Citizen Action to Stop Animal Abuse

American Humane Association
Thursday, 19 February 2004

American Humane today awarded $1,000 out of its Second Chance Fundô to Colorado Humane Society to offset the medical expenses for Ashley, the puppy that was rescued after being set on fire in Arvada on Monday.

Through the fund, American Humane helps animal abuse victims across the country get a second chance at life.

"American Humane has been solidly behind us throughout this ordeal and we are very grateful to them for reaching out and supporting us during this very emotional time," says Lara Riggenbach, veterinary services coordinator at Colorado Humane Society.

At least five dogs that were stolen from Colorado Humane Society on Monday, February 16, became the victims of savage cruelty this week. In one attack, an employee of a health club in Littleton, Colo., found a man standing over a small burning dog and holding two other dogs. The man dropped one of the dogs and ran off with the other. The dog that was on fire died.

Investigators believe the same person bound and gagged two other dogs and ignited their kennel outside a movie theatre in Arvada, Colo. An employee heard the dogs whimpering and put out the fire with an extinguisher. One of the dogs, Ashley, survived and is expected to make a full recovery. The eight-week-old puppy is at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, receiving medical care for smoke inhalation and 2nd and 3rd degree burns on her paws and face.

American Humane applauds the quick actions of the two employees, and is calling for the active involvement of all Colorado residents to catch the perpetrator of these crimes and prevent the cycle of violence within their communities.

"The person committing these atrocious acts is a danger to all of society," says Joan Casey, associate director of shelter services at American Humane. "Animal cruelty, while a terrible crime in itself, is a warning sign - a red flag - that the person responsible may also be violent towards humans. We urge all citizens to recognize the seriousness of this crime and report animal abuse whenever they witness it."

Research has shown animal abuse is linked to other types of violence, such as child abuse, domestic violence, gang activity, and even satanic ritual. The evidence is so overwhelming that, at the time this release was written, 41 states have felony level convictions for serious acts of animal abuse. In Colorado, first-time egregious acts of animal abuse have been a felony since 2002, thanks in part to American Humane's testimony before the Colorado State Legislature and our instrumental role in writing the legislation.

A reward fund leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible has been established. If you are interested in helping either of the injured dogs, call Colorado Humane Society at (303)-781-4418.

The Second Chance Fund was established last year with the generous support of Bayer Animal Health to help organizations like Colorado Humane Society offset the cost of treating animal victims of abuse or neglect. If you would like to support this or another American Humane program, donate now!

For more information, or to contact American Humane Association, see their website at:

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