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Two Pets Dead; Humane Society offers Reward

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 - 7:12 PM
Rutland Herald


Article published Jul 14, 2009
2 pets dead; Humane Society offers reward
By Josh O'Gorman STAFF WRITER

PERKINSVILLE The Humane Society is offering a reward for information surrounding the slaying of a pair of family pets.

Joanne Bourbeau, senior state director for Vermont and New Hampshire for the Humane Society of the United States, said a Perkinsville resident contacted her organization for assistance following the killing of her pet rabbit and cat in two separate incidents.

According to the Humane Society, on June 23, the woman who Bourbeau said did not want to be identified found her 3-year-old Netherland/Lop mix rabbit dead in its hutch. The rabbit, whose name was Beth, died from a stab wound between her neck and shoulder blade.

On July 1, the woman returned home to find her 9-week-old kitten, Sanford, beaten to death.

The Humane Society is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for killing the animals. The reward is standard, Bourbeau said, but the crimes in question are anything but ordinary.

"Neglect is a more common scenario, but on occasion we have these more extreme examples of animal cruelty," Bourbeau said.

Since 2007, most of the cases of neglect, such as the deprivation of food and water, are handled with civil tickets, said Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand.

"It was believed that in some cases, all that was needed was intervention, not a full-blown investigation," Sand said. "The majority of those cases are people who have more animals than they can take care of, and in the majority of those cases there is a mental health component involved."

Extreme acts of animal cruelty such as torture, mutilation and murder are not covered by civil ticket but carry criminal penalties of up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine for felony aggravated animal cruelty.

Sand said his office has prosecuted cases of animal cruelty, including the shooting of a dog and the stabbing of a young bull.

Bourbeau said it's important to speak out and defend those who can't speak for themselves.

"Animal cruelty is something that needs to be taken seriously," she said. "The link between violence to animals and other crimes is well-known and we need to do everything we can to bring the people responsible to justice."

Anyone with information regarding either or both of these crimes is asked to call Weathersfield Police Chief Richard F. Brown at 875-2112.

josh.ogorman@rutlandherald.com


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