Group Hopes to Bring Person(s) Responsible for Animal Abuse to Justice

For Immediate Release:
23 February 2012

Mornington Peninsula – A Staffordshire terrier cross was found dead at Tootgarook last week with severe puncture wounds and a plastic bag tied around his head to suffocate him, according to police. The local RSPCA Inspector said that his injuries could be “consistent with dog fighting”. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia is offering up to $1,000 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. There are reports that dogs are bred, bought or snatched to be trained to fight, while others are stolen as “bait” dogs: they are starved or injured and then left for fighting dogs to attack – in order to give them a taste for blood.

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 $60,000 and two years imprisonment under the Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. Anyone with information about this case or about dogfighting rackets is encouraged to call Sgt Michelle Bradley from Rosebud police on (03) 5986 0444.

For more information about cruelty to animals, please visit