Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18555
Classification: Theft, Beating
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011

County: Riley

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Riley County officers are conducting interviews this week as they continue to investigate the brutal beatings of a local family's pets.

On September 2, 13 News was the first to reveal that the case is getting attention at the national level. The United States Humane Society is stepping forward to offer a reward in the case.

The Romine family in Leonardville had three of their Blue Heelers let out of their fenced-in backyard on August 24th.

The next day, one of their dogs turned up in their backyard paralyzed and had to be put down.

Several days later, the Romines found another one of their dogs in a ditch. It was been beaten, killed and stuffed in a trash bag, many of its teeth missing.

Police say the dogs were beaten with a baseball bat or shovel. The third dog is still missing.

The Riley County Police Department was contacted by the United States Humane Society last week about a reward and WIBW confirmed with Humane Society officials that the organization is offering a $1000-$2500 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Midge Grinstead, the Kansas State Director for the United States Humane Society, says she hopes the reward will help bring justice to the abused animals.

A Shawnee County woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, is also personally offering a $1000 reward to anyone that provides authorities with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. She says she is a dog lover and has two dogs. She tells 13 News she "can't imagine anyone treating animals that way and wants to get this person off the streets because if they can do that to a dog, who knows what else they are capable of." The woman does not know the Romine family.

Riley County police officials say they have not identified a suspect or suspects in the case. When asked if they think multiple people were involved or if any witnesses have come forward, the department's spokesman Lieutenant Richard Fink said he did not have that information. The Romine family believes one of their neighbors attacked their pets because they were tired of the dogs barking.

The beatings are being investigated as a Cruelty to Animals case.

In Kansas, Cruelty to Animals can be a misdemeanor or felony but officials say in this case, they are looking at a felony level offense.

If convicted, the suspect or suspects face up to a year behind bars and a fine of $500-$5000 on each charge. Since more than one dog was hurt in this case, officials say it could mean more charges and more time for whoever did this.

On Thursday, Lieutenant Fink told members of the media he's "optimistic" that the case will be solved, saying the investigation is ongoing. Fink says the reward money will also be given to anyone that can lead the family and officers to the dog that is still missing. The Romines fear the worst for their pet after finding the other two beaten but they want to give their dog a proper burial.

The Investigators: Anyone with information may contact the Riley County Police Department at (785)537-2112 or Crime-Stoppers at (785)539-7777 or (800)222-TIPS (8477). Tipsters may remain anonymous.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
(785)539-7777 or (800)222-TIPS (8477)


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