PETA OFFERS $5,000 TO CATCH DOGFIGHTING RING WHICH IS STEALING DOGS FROM HAWKESBURY AREA

Group Hopes to Bring Persons Responsible for Animal Abuse to Justice

For Immediate Release:
30 April 2013

Sydney – A small terrier cross named Rastice was found dead in Windsor recently, hanging from a tree and severely mutilated, according to a Nelson resident. Twenty other dogs have been taken from the area in one week. Local MP Ray Williams says that the dogs are stolen by dogfighting rings “to bait and blood the more ferocious [dogs] before they get into a ring”. He continues, “These are family pets getting their limbs ripped off and enduring an enormous amount of pain and suffering. It’s sickening stuff”. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia is offering up to $5,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this horrific crime.

PETA is also urging residents to keep a watchful eye on their animal companions and keep them indoors. Dogfighting rings normally operate in isolated areas, away from witnesses to this illegal activity. Williams stated that this “isn’t the first time dogfighting has reared its ugly head in the rural areas of Hawkesbury”.

Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often go on to commit violent acts against their fellow humans. As long as the perpetrators of this crime are at large, other animals – and human residents – might also be in danger. History shows that serial rapists and murderers often have histories of past incidents involving cruelty to animals. Young killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables as well as serial murderers Fred West, Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer all started out by deliberately harming animals.

“People who engage in dogfighting are cowards”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “They take their issues out on the most defenceless beings available to them.”

Aggravated cruelty to animals carries a penalty of up to $22,000 and five years’ imprisonment under the New South Wales Crimes Act 1900 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. Anyone with information about this case or about other dogfighting rackets is encouraged to call the RSPCA on (02) 9770 7555 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

For more information about cruelty to animals, please visit PETA.org.au.

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