For Immediate Release:
16 August 2016

Group Hopes to Bring Person(s) Responsible for Appalling Cruelty to Justice

Craigieburn – Earlier this month, a dog named Toby was suffocated at his home in Craigieburn, north Melbourne, by an intruder. Toby’s entire head was covered in duct tape when his guardian found him dead in the backyard. While police are investigating, the perpetrator of this attack has not yet been found. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia is offering up to $5,000 as a reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this horrific crime.

Because animals cannot report abuse and can do little to fight back, they’re often used as “practice” victims by those who tend towards violence.

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 perpetrator of this crime is at large, other animals – including humans – might also be in danger. A study by Dr John Clarke, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Sydney and consultant to the New South Wales Police Force, demonstrated using police data that 61.5 per cent of convicted animal abuse offenders had also committed an assault and 17 per cent were guilty of sexual abuse. Most disturbingly, animal abuse was a better predictor of sexual assault than previous convictions for homicide, arson, or firearms offences. Only 1 per cent of cruelty-to-animals offenders had no other convictions at all.

The world’s most notorious serial killers – including Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Rader, and Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler – have long, documented histories of harming animals. In Australia, murderers such as Paul Denyer, John Travers, and Ivan Milat tortured and killed animals before turning to human victims.

“Animal abusers are cowards”, says PETA Australia campaign coordinator Claire Fryer. “We’re appealing to anyone with information about this cruel act to come forward so that the perpetrators can be put where they belong: in jail.”

Cruelty to animals in Victoria carries a penalty of up to $74,620 or two years’ imprisonment under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the RSPCA on 03 9224 2222.

For more information about cruelty to animals, please visit