A horrific scene of animal neglect and cruelty has emerged near Bloomington, IL. After shooting at his girlfriend, the residence of a man named Curtis Cleary was investigated by Illinois State Police and an estimated 60 cats and nearly one dozen dogs were found having been starved to death.
It was an unimaginably heartbreaking and gruesome scene: many of the corpses were just skeletal remains, others matted to the floor, and they all had been allowed to starve to death. Cleary was the boyfriend of the late Catherine Hedges, a tireless advocate for animals who founded Don’t Bully My Breed, a non-profit dedicated to adopting and educating about the often misunderstood American Pit Bull Terriers. Ms. Hedges passed away in September of 2011 and Curtis Cleary inherited her home as well as dozens of dogs and cats she had rescued for adoption. Those animals that Ms. Hedges had cared for were cruelly allowed to starve to death while Cleary lived in the same home with his current girlfriend. During a dispute on Sunday at 1:00 in the morning, she called the police after Cleary fired shots at her and that is when the dozens and dozens of starved animals were discovered.
Please don’t let this case be swept under the carpet. This man must be brought to justice, the remaining animals must be saved and Catherine's humane legacy must live on.
The Chicago area animal advocacy community, many of whom were close friends with Catherine Hedges, are asking that we make our voices heard for the animals that were killed and for the more than thirty other animals – including calves, chickens, goats, pigs and more – that Cleary had on the property to be sold as meat, many reportedly malnourished and sick with ringworm. After his arrest for aggravated assault, Cleary must post just over $5,000 and these animals can be released to him and his girlfriend, despite the police having seen the devastation in his home.
We are asking that the animals not be released to the individuals who allowed dozens and dozens of dogs and cats to be starved to death and instead to be released to sanctuaries.
Please call regarding the Curtis Cleary case, asking that he be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent under the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act and that the remaining animals are not released to him or his girlfriend. Please call:
Illinois State's Attorney at 309-888-5400.
The McClean County Sheriff's department at 309-888-5034.
Senator Dick Durbin’s office at 202-224-2154 and 217-492-4062.
There is a Chip-In page for donations. Please share widely. Thank you. Our efforts might make the difference.
Update, 11-8: the remaining animals were released to the custody of Cleary's girlfriend yesterday, a person who was living in the same home where dozens and dozens of animals were allowed to slowly starve to death. Your phone calls and emails are needed more than ever: the state needs to know that Illinois residents are watching and we are very upset. We need to keep the pressure on them. Please keep up your efforts!