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Idaho animal advocacy groups offer rewards following animal cruelty incidents

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On Tuesday, Dec. 24, the Idaho Statesman reported that a $5,000 reward is being offered in two recent animal cruelty cases.

The animal cruelty cases involved the deaths of a dog, Canadian geese, and two horses and the injuries of at least half a dozen wild ducks. The dog, named Gunner, was killed two weeks ago near Springfield, Idaho when he was hunting with his owner.

Over $2500 was raised recently for a reward fun called "Justice For Gunner." The Portneuf Animal Welfare Society in Oregon launched the reward fund after hearing Gunner's story.

The Portneuf Animal Welfare Society's website states:

After winging a goose, hunter Chris Mickelsen followed about 50 yards behind his hunting dog, Gunner, to retrieve the bird near the road. A stranger in a white flatbed truck stopped, got out and shot Gunner with a hand gun.

After Chris yelled out to the man, the stranger got back in his truck and drove off. The beloved family dog, Gunner, later bled to death. Gunner was wearing an orange vest and could not have been mistaken for anything other than a hunting dog.

PAWS is raising money to help with the arrest and conviction of the person who shot the dog.

You can donate to Portneuf Animal Welfare Society here.

According to Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland, a person of interest has been named in the shooting death of Gunner and tips from the public are no longer needed.

Earlier this month, at least a half dozen wild ducks were shot with blow-gun darts in Meridian, Idaho. The Idaho Humane Society is offering a reward for information leading to convictions in this case. While the shots were not fatal, they could potentially case injuries or infection to the animals.

On Nov. 30, more than one dozen Canadian geese were found dead just outside of Pocatello. This weekend, a 20-year-old horse was fatally shot in Eagle, Idaho - and this is the second recent Idaho horse animal abuse case.

An animal cruelty case regarding 16 horses recently culminated in action from the Bannock County Sheriff's Office, as well. After complaints about the condition of his 16 horses came into the county office in October, local local landowner David “Wolf” Hart was investigated for two months. The reporting parties were concerned that the horses weren't receiving food or water.

An animal rights group helped wrangle the horses and transport them to a shelter.

As of April 3, 2012, Idaho has its first felony animal cruelty law. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed bill S 1303, making Idaho the 48th state to establish a felony animal cruelty provision. The Dakotas are the only states without such laws.

Bill S 1303 amends the existing state law relating to animals to provide that specified conduct under certain circumstances shall constitute a felony.

The bill makes intentional and malicious infliction of pain, physical suffering, injury or death upon an animal a third-offense felony if the offender's first conviction was within the past 15 years.

The penalties include up to a year in jail and a fine of not less than $500 or more than $9,000.

Updates to these animal cruelty cases will be posted as they occur.

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