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Humane Rescue Alliance rescues sexually abused puppy, offers reward in investigation

Content warning: this post contains discussion of sexual assault which may be upsetting to some readers.

The Humane Rescue Alliance is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for allegedly physically and sexually abusing a puppy and abandoning her near Fort Dupont Park in SE DC.

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, HRA received a call about a female puppy who was apparently abandoned near Fort Dupont Park in SE DC. When a Humane Law Enforcement officer with HRA arrived on scene, they found a critically injured, 7-month-old puppy, who they named Luna, lying in the grass on the side of the road. The officer offered Luna water and treats, and she began to wag her tail.

The officer observed blood on her neck and open wounds on her chest. Her hind legs were so badly injured that she couldn’t walk. The officer immediately transferred Luna to Friendship Hospital for Animals for urgent medical care.

Veterinarians at FHA determined Luna had five broken vertebrae, two of which required surgical stabilization, two possible stab wounds on her chest, a dislocated hip that may need surgical repair in the future and more. Other injuries indicate she had been brutally sexually abused and was likely strangled. Veterinarians were able to determine these injuries occurred over weeks due to the varying stages of healing of each injury.

Veterinarians are optimistic that Luna will have a good quality of life and may even walk again. Friendship Hospital for Animals has generously offered to cover the cost to care for Luna, which we estimate will exceed $20,000. HRA is grateful for FHA’s incredible generosity and its shared commitment to saving animal lives.

“The person responsible for torturing Luna has certainly demonstrated their propensity for extreme violence,” said Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance. “Study after study has shown that individuals who commit cruelty to animals, particularly sexual abuse crimes, are known to perpetrate these crimes against humans, especially children. To ensure the safety of the entire community, we will do everything in our power to find who is responsible and are asking for the public’s help to do so.”

"We share in the vision of HRA's dedication to finding justice for our city's animals in need," said Kieran Mara, director at Friendship Hospital for Animals. "We are grateful to have a strong partner in the District of Columbia and proud to donate these services."

As FHA staff continue to care for Luna, HRA’s work on this case is just beginning. HLE officers have launched an investigation to find her abuser and are looking for anyone who may have noticed anything unusual near Fort Dupont Park on or before Aug. 11, anyone who recognizes the puppy and information about the person or persons responsible for Luna’s injuries. If you have information, please call 202-723-5730, option 3 or email [email protected]