National organization steps in to encourage potential tipsters to come forward
Riviera Beach, Florida (January 11, 2013) – RedRover, a nonprofit animal protection organization based in Sacramento, California, is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever tethered a dog to a fence, doused him in accelerant and set him on fire. Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County provides additional reward funds for tips that lead to arrests.
On Monday, January 7 around 10:30 p.m., a resident near the 1600 block of West 27th Street in Riviera Beach, Florida, heard a fire light up and the screams of a dog. She contacted authorities and discovered that what she thought was a grass fire was actually a dog. Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control responded and discovered a deceased male brindle pit bull, approximately one year of age, who had been tethered to the fence before being doused with accelerant and set aflame. A necropsy later confirmed that the dog was alive and in good physical health at the time of the blaze; tests to identify the accelerant used to fuel the fire are pending. The dog’s owner remains unknown.
“We all feel horrible about the terrible cruelty inflicted on this dog, and strongly want to see this crime solved,” said Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Captain David Walesky. “This dog, and this community, both deserve justice.”
“We hope our reward will encourage someone who knows more about this horrific premeditated cruelty to come forward with information that could solve this crime and make the community safer,” said RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “Violence toward animals is often a precursor to violence toward people, so Riviera Beach residents have a stake in seeing that whoever committed this violent act is punished to the full extent of the law.”
Anyone with information in this case is encouraged
to call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1.800.458.TIPS (8477)
Callers may remain anonymous.
A study conducted by the Massachusetts SPCA and Northeastern University showed that people who abuse animals are five times more likely commit violence against people, four times more likely to commit property crimes, and three times more likely to be involved in drunken or disorderly offenses.
RedRover pledges rewards around the country to encourage witnesses to step forward with information about animal cruelty crimes and to highlight the need for harsher punishments in such cases. Just one week ago, RedRover offered a $2,500 reward in another dog burning case in Sacramento, California.
Founded in 1987, RedRover focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. The RedRover Readers program aims to prevent animal cruelty before it happens through its unique community-based literacy approach, which helps children increase their level of empathy for people and pets through stories and discussion. The next online training for teachers and other educators begins January 12. Learn more about RedRover and its programs at www.redrover.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Brown 916.429.2457 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’ve seen a lot of support over different cases but for it to reach a national level with donations specific to a reward, this is unprecedented for us,” said David Walesky of the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.”
- WPTV News Channel 5, Sunday, January 13: (Video) Riviera Beach dog tethered to fence, burned to death catching national attention
- Palm Beach Post, Sunday, January 13: Rewards totalling $3,800 offered for arrests in pit bull burning case in Riviera Beach
- Reward increased to at least $7,500: In Defense of Animals added $2,500 reward, and Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue, a South Florida-based rescue and adoption group, is collecting pledges towards a reward and so far has added an additional $2,500.
- A local resident, Herb Sigel, is reportedly offering a $5,000 reward.
- WPTV News Channel 5, Monday, January 14: Pit bull dog burning death exceeds $10,000 for arrest
- Tuesday, January 15: The Humane Society of the United States adds $5,000 to the reward
- Friday, January 18: Thanks to donations to the reward fund set up by Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue, the reward is now at $25,000.