The Humane Society of the United States
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Reward offered in Charleston County animal cruelty case for dog who was chained, burned alive

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 those individuals responsible for the gruesome torture and death of a dog who was killed earlier this week in Awendaw, South Carolina. Pet Helpers Adoption Shelter has offered an additional $1,000 reward, bringing the total to $6,000.

The Case: According to news reports, on Tuesday deputies responded to a 911 call at the Center for Birds of Prey, located 20 miles northeast of Charleston.

“Somebody has burned a dog… it’s still burning,” Jim Elliot, director of the Center for Birds of Prey, said in the call to dispatchers. “I know it’s got a chain on its neck from what I can tell, and I saw some kids walking away when I drove up.”

The dog’s owner has not been found.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. It is well documented that a youth who commits cruelty toward animals is likely to commit violence against humans as an adult.

“It's especially alarming that this depraved act may have been committed by children,” said Kimberly Kelly, South Carolina state director for The HSUS. “We hope this reward will incentivize someone to come forward so that justice can be served, hopefully including counseling.” 

The Investigators: The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 843-554-1111 or Charleston County Animal Control Office at 843-529-5319.

Sheriff's Office spokesperson Maj. Eric Watson said, “Any type of cruelty or abuse of any kind committed against a harmless animal should always concern society. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is taking this senseless and horrendous act seriously and will make every effort to bring those individuals responsible to justice to ensure our community remain safe for our citizens and animals. We will continue to aggressively investigate this criminal act until this case has reached a successful conclusion and ends in an arrest."

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 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.

To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.  

Media Contact: Thaisi Da Silva: 301-258-1497; tdasilva@humanesociety.org

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