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Attorney General Bill McCollum Press Release
Attorney General McCollum Announces Florida Animal Fighting Tip Line
~ McCollum joins The Humane Society of the United States and Norred & Associates to combat animal fighting ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL — Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that Floridians can now report animal fighting and be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 by calling The Humane Society of the United States’ animal fighting tip line at 877-TIP-HSUS (847-4787). The toll-free tip line was first established in Georgia by The HSUS and Atlanta-based corporate security firm Norred & Associates Inc. Because of its success, and with the support of Florida’s Attorney General, the tip line has been expanded to help combat dogfighting and cockfighting in Florida.
"Animal fighting is a cruel and criminal behavior often associated with gang activity and other violence," said Attorney General McCollum. "Now Floridians will have an easy, anonymous way to help make their neighborhoods safer and perhaps receive a substantial reward for their efforts."
The HSUS’ Florida animal fighting tip line is managed by investigators with Norred & Associates and The HSUS. Once tips are authenticated, investigators work with law enforcement agencies to inspect, arrest and prosecute animal fighters. Callers’ identities are protected, and if a caller’s tip leads to the arrest and prosecution of an animal fighter, the caller becomes eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 from The HSUS.
"Animal fighting is a horribly cruel activity and I am proud to help bring the criminals who engage in these blood sports to justice," said Greg D. Norred, founder and CEO of Norred & Associates. "The HSUS animal fighting tip line has been immensely successful in Georgia and we’re hopeful that we will have similar results in Florida."
The HSUS’ animal fighting tip line was first established in the wake of the Michael Vick case so Georgia residents can easily report illegal animal fighting to authorities. Since its inception in January 2008, the Georgia tip line has received more than 1,000 calls, leading to seven raids and 11 arrests.
"The mix of a dedicated tip line for animal fighting investigations and a reward program is a winning combination," said Laura Bevan, director of The HSUS’ Southeast regional office. "The Humane Society of the United States is thrilled to partner with Attorney General McCollum and Norred & Associates in the effort to stamp out animal fighting in Florida."
Last May, the Attorney General announced The HSUS's $5,000 reward program to combat animal fighting in Florida and strongly supports this latest phase in the efforts to find and prosecute those involved in the crime. The HSUS estimates that Florida is one of the top three states in which major dogfighting operations exist.
The expansion of The HSUS’s animal fighting tip line has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Companions’ Fund of The DuPage Community Foundation. The HSUS’ animal fighting reward program was established through a grant from the Holland M. Ware Foundation.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization, backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at http://humanesociety.org.