Breaking news: Jail sentence for poacher who slaughtered hibernating mother bear and two newborn cubs in Alaska

By on January 23, 2019 with 1 Comment

A man who, along with his teenage son, mercilessly slaughtered a hibernating mother bear and her two newborn cubs in their den, and then lied about it, will serve time in jail for the gruesome crime that shocked Americans when it came to light last August.

Andrew Renner was convicted of eight counts, including unlawfully killing and transporting the bears, and sentenced to three months in jail. The Anchorage Daily News reports that he will also pay a $9,000 fine, and that he has forfeited property that was confiscated from him, including a 22-foot Sea Sport ocean boat and trailer, a 2012 GMC Sierra pickup, two rifles, two handguns, two iPhones and two sets of backcountry skis used in the crime. His hunting license has been revoked for 10 years.

His son, Owen Renner, was convicted of four counts, including killing and transporting the bears. He was sentenced to 30 days of suspended jail time and will be required to perform community service and take a hunter safety course. His hunting license has been suspended for two years.

According to charging documents, the crime spree occurred in April 2018 when the Renners skied to a remote den in Alaska and slaughtered the mother bear in front of her shrieking cubs, then went on to kill the cubs. They then cut up the mother’s body, placed it into game bags, and skied away. Two days later the father and son returned to the scene of the crime, where the father destroyed evidence and stuffed the bodies of the newborn cubs in a bag. Two weeks later, Andrew Renner presented the carcass as a legal kill to the state’s wildlife agency, lied about killing the cubs, and submitted falsified information.

The Humane Society of the United States is fighting to save America’s black bears from the threat of systematic and sanctioned cruelty proposed by our federal government, with the Renner case serving as a disturbing reminder of how closely our government is now aligned with trophy hunters. In 2017, Congress voted to overturn a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife rule to protect native carnivores on public lands in Alaska by prohibiting methods such as killing hibernating mother bears and their cubs, shooting wolf and coyote pups and mothers at their dens, and killing brown bears after baiting them. In 2018, in the same vein, the Department of the Interior proposed a rule to overturn a 2015 National Park Service decision that prohibited similar and other egregious methods. Thousands of you wrote to the Department of the Interior to oppose the rule. As we await a decision, we are developing more extensive strategies to meet the threats to native carnivores in North America.

Outrage over the Renner case and today’s sentencing should help Congress and the Department of the Interior appreciate just how out of step they are. The American public does not support the cruel killing of native carnivores. A 2018 poll of Alaskans by Remington Research Group showed that a supermajority of residents oppose allowing cruel hunting methods in their state, with 71 percent opposed to allowing hunters to kill hibernating mother black bears and their cubs in dens with the aid of artificial lights.

Black bears, grizzly bears and wolves are an integral part of America’s landscape and are among our most precious natural treasures. If they cannot be safe from cruel killing practices on our national preserves, there is very little meaning to our federal government’s frequently professed desire to protect them for future generations.

Bipartisan bills introduced in Congress to ban shark fin trade in U.S., end malicious cruelty to animals

By on January 23, 2019 with 0 Comments
Bipartisan bills introduced in Congress to ban shark fin trade in U.S., end malicious cruelty to animals

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson The 116th Congress began work today on rooting out some of the worst forms of animal cruelty in the world, with House members reintroducing two important bipartisan bills. One would ban malicious acts of animal cruelty and bestiality, and . . . 

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Luxury fashion brand St. John says no to fur, exotic skins

By on January 18, 2019 with 4 Comments
Luxury fashion brand St. John says no to fur, exotic skins

One more luxury fashion brand has joined the mass exodus from fur. St. John, a brand popular among fashion-conscious shoppers, from models and actresses to first ladies, announced today that it will go completely fur-free with its pre-Fall 2019 collection. The company has also prohibited . . . 

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At Safari Club convention, vendors peddle canned lion hunts, elephant and hippo body parts

By on January 18, 2019 with 3 Comments
At Safari Club convention, vendors peddle canned lion hunts, elephant and hippo body parts

A canvas made of a whole elephant’s ear. Belts made with hippo skin. Elephant skin furniture. The annual Safari Club International convention in Reno, Nevada, had plenty on view that would shock and sicken the average person. But investigators for the Humane Society of the . . . 

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Thousands of animals in USDA-licensed facilities feel impact of government shutdown

By on January 16, 2019 with 0 Comments
Thousands of animals in USDA-licensed facilities feel impact of government shutdown

The federal government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, has devastated many American families. But it has also affected countless numbers of animals, including thousands of domestic and wild animals in puppy mills, research laboratories, zoos and other facilities that are licensed — and inspected . . . 

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HSUS assists more than 200 German Shepherds rescued from puppy mills in Georgia, Maryland

By on January 15, 2019 with 0 Comments
HSUS assists more than 200 German Shepherds rescued from puppy mills in Georgia, Maryland

For dogs bred in puppy mills, there are no good days. They are crammed into small spaces, often denied basic needs like food and water and veterinary care, and they rarely, if ever, get the human companionship and enrichment that makes their lives better and . . . 

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Japan’s rogue stance on whaling deserves worldwide condemnation

By on January 14, 2019 with 4 Comments
Japan’s rogue stance on whaling deserves worldwide condemnation

Japan this week formalized its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission in a letter, setting the stage for its resumed killing of hundreds of whales in its coastal waters and perhaps elsewhere as well. Japan announced its departure from the IWC last month, and with . . . 

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A blog renamed, a mission renewed

By on January 11, 2019 with 4 Comments
A blog renamed, a mission renewed

These are exciting times for the animal protection movement, and especially for those of us who work at the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates, including Humane Society International and the Humane Society Legislative Fund. The year 2019 has come in with . . . 

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‘A Dog’s Way Home’ celebrates bond between veterans and dogs; addresses problems with breed-specific bans

By on January 10, 2019 with 4 Comments
‘A Dog’s Way Home’ celebrates bond between veterans and dogs; addresses problems with breed-specific bans

From Rin Tin Tin to Lassie and Benji, the movies have long celebrated and reaffirmed the strength of the human-animal bond and the joy that companion animals bring to our lives. In this cherished tradition, a new movie that hits theaters tonight honors an even . . . 

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States act to protect animals left outside in cold weather

By on January 9, 2019 with 12 Comments
States act to protect animals left outside in cold weather

Late last year, Pennsylvania investigators found a dog named Cam dead and frozen solid on a heavy chain, wedged between a small dog house and a fence. He appeared to have been digging for warmth when he died. As heartbreaking as this story is, unfortunately, . . . 

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Complaints about sick Petland puppies pour in after HSUS undercover investigation

By on January 8, 2019 with 10 Comments
Complaints about sick Petland puppies pour in after HSUS undercover investigation

On December 11, we released the results of our shocking undercover investigation at two Petland locations, one in Las Vegas and another in Kennesaw, Georgia, where our investigators found several sick puppies and a dead puppy in a freezer. When we started the investigation, we . . . 

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Breaking news: Supreme Court lets stand California, Massachusetts bans on cage confinement; foie gras ban

By on January 7, 2019 with 5 Comments
Breaking news: Supreme Court lets stand California, Massachusetts bans on cage confinement; foie gras ban

In a victory that will likely prevent significant suffering for millions of farm animals, the Supreme Court today snuffed out efforts by the factory farming lobby and associated interests to overturn landmark laws against cage confinement in California and Massachusetts, and a California ban on . . . 

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