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PETA posts $2,500 reward
Animal group offers $2,500 for collaring poisoning culprit
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Sylvia Kimes hugs “Mystic,” a 12-year-old family pet, who became sick after ingesting anti-freeze earlier this month. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Culprits in the recent rash of pet poisoning in Manteca used the sweet taste of anti-freeze to lure their feline and canine victims.

Now, PETA wants to use the sweet smell of money to help flush out the perpetrators and let them pay for their crime.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the non-profit animal-rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, announced Thursday it is offering a $2,500 reward – on top of the amount of up to $1,000 from the Manteca Crime Stoppers – for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these crimes.

“We do rewards all the time in an effort to bring animal abusers to justice,” said Kristin DeJournett of the non-profit organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, in a telephone interview Thursday.

“This is not connected with the Manteca Crime Stoppers. We can’t work with (the police) for various reasons,” explained DeJournett.

However, once the suspects are apprehended and are convicted, PETA will get all the pertinent information that they need from the Manteca Police Department and start the process of disbursing the cash reward to the right person or people, DeJournett said.

She said PETA learned about the rash of anti-freeze poisoning of cats and dogs in Manteca from concerned Bulletin readers who brought the stories about these incidents to their attention. DeJournett said the non-profit organization has a hotline as well as a web link dedicated to such reports of animal abuse.

The additional cash reward might be the only way to apprehend the people responsible for these “heinous acts,” PETA stated in a press release e-mailed to the Bulletin.

In the accompanying statement, PETA Director Martin Merserau says, “Animal abusers are cowards. They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them. Area residents have good reason to be concerned. According to law-enforcement agencies and leading mental-health professionals, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals—including humans.”

DeJournett said PETA rewards have resulted in many animal-abuse convictions throughout the United States. There was the case, for example, in North Carolina that involved the killing of pelicans.

“But my favorite story came from New England – I’m not sure if that’s the right state – but it was about an elderly woman who went on vacation” and left her pet canine at home, DeJournette recalled.

While the homeowner was away, a burglar broke into her home. But the crime story did not end there. The burglar “took the pug and put it in the oven,” DeJournette said.

“Because of our reward, he was caught and got 13 years in jail,” for the burglary plus his heinous act involving the pet, she said.

“So the rewards do work,” she stated.

Anti-freeze poisoning incidents in Manteca started in early October when residents in the northeast part of town reported their dogs and cats getting sick. The latest reported incident happened the week before Thanksgiving. It involved the 11-year-old Queensland Heeler and Jack Russell terrier mix who was adopted by Karen and Glenn Hromadko at the non-profit Pets and Pals in Lathrop which rescued the dog from abuse when he was two years old. The Hromadkos’ veterinarian confirmed their pet was the victim of anti-freeze poisoning. It was the first poisoning incident reported from the southwest part of Manteca.

At least two dogs and one cat died, and two were saved in the northeast Manteca incidents. Two other cats belonging to two owners in an East Sutter Street neighborhood and were also suspected of anti-freeze poisoning were saved as well.

The incident involving the Hromadkos’ dog was the first reported from the other side of town.

Anyone with information about any of the above pet poisoning incidents is encouraged to contact the Manteca Crime Stoppers at (209) 456-8100. Callers may remain anonymous.

For more information about PETA, visit the organization’s web site at The group also has an anti-violence public service announcement featuring “Inglourious Basterds” star and “Hostel” director Eli Roth which can be viewed by logging on to