New program offers rewards for tips on animal cruelty

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 2:34 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new program aims to reward people for joining the fight against animal abuse.

The Northeast Kansas Animal Welfare Foundation stood with Topeka area law enforcement Tuesday to announce the “Cruelty Stoppers” program. Similar to Crime Stoppers, it offers cash rewards for tips leading the arrest and conviction of someone who abuses animals.

Bill Acree, President and CEO of the Foundation, says recent cases show animal cruelty, abuse, and abandonment is happening in the area, but people may not know what to do about it. He says the program might help people speak up for the creatures who cannot speak for themselves.

“The animals didn’t do this, they didn’t cause this issue. It’s a people issue and it needs to stop,” he said.

Jim Tursi, senior animal control officer for the City of Topeka, says the incentives could be the push people need.

“That’s the thing that drives you nuts as an animal control officer - the fact that there are so many animals that do need our help and we just can’t get to them because we either don’t know or because people won’t come forward when we need them to,” Tursi said.

People who suspect animal cruelty should contact their county attorney or local law enforcement. Acree said the agencies will notify the Foundation of those who may qualify for a reward.

For further information about Cruelty Stoppers or the Northeast Kansas Animal Welfare Foundation, visit their Facebook page.

Research shows pet abuse often is linked to other violent crimes, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or drug trafficking.

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