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Police, Idaho Humane Society investigating animal abuse videos

Anyone trying to rehome their pet online should carefully vet people before handing over their dog or cat, the humane society says.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Humane Society and Boise Police are working to find the person behind an anonymous Instagram account, posting disturbing photos and videos of animal torture.  

The Idaho Humane Society issued a warning to pet owners Tuesday, saying that the organization has received reports that someone is stealing cats and dogs from yards or buying pets on Craigslist, then abusing and maiming them in videos that are posted online.

Boise Police says they are investigating the situation, but have not found proof that the animal abuse or thefts are taking place locally.

There are unconfirmed reports from people who believe that the videos might have been recorded in Boise or the surrounding area. 

BPD is asking if anyone recognizes the tattoos shown in the images. They are screen grabs from the recent video and officers believe the tattoos may help identify the suspect.

Credit: BPD
Boise Police are looking for the person with this tattoo.

Anyone with information about the tattoos or the suspect is asked to call Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790 or Crime Stoppers: 208-343-COPS.

“Police do not have recent reports of animals being stolen from Boise homes but the Idaho Humane Society has heard of this in other areas," the department said in a statement. "It’s unknown if any of those cases are related to the online video.”

RELATED: Someone may be taking pets from yards to harm them, Idaho Humane Society warns

As a precaution, Idaho Humane Society communications manager Kristine Schellhaas said, anyone re-homing their pets online should ask the buyer for a proof of address before handing over their dog or cat.

“We’re just erring on the side of caution," she said. "We don’t even know if this individual is here. We don’t even know if this is a legitimate concern that people in the Treasure Valley need to worry about, but we always want to be concerned for area pets, and that means we want to provide a small warning and let people be aware of the situation."

The Idaho Humane Society is asking the public to let the police handle the investigation and not try to track the person abusing animals down themselves.

RELATED: Video of woman repeatedly punching dog sparks investigation

If you cannot keep your pet, the Idaho Humane Society offers re-homing services.

The non-profit charges a surrender fee for vet services and food, but if you don’t have the funds, the humane society says they can work with you.

They prefer you bring your pet to them instead of giving your pet to someone you don’t know through Facebook or Craiglist.