Loudoun County Animal Services, in collaboration with Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police, is conducting an investigation into the posting of videos and photographs portraying graphic and disturbing acts of animal torture on Instagram. The individual posting the videos is seen committing heinous acts of animal cruelty, while demanding that viewers send them money in order to prevent future acts of cruelty from occurring.
Although the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses attached to the videos indicate that the incidents occurred in and around Ashburn, the ongoing investigation has determined that these videos likely originated outside the United States. Loudoun County has no jurisdiction for prosecuting animal cruelty cases that occur outside the U.S.; however, the county will notify local authorities if the location in which the videos were produced can be identified.
Animal cruelty videos of this nature are considered state and federal felonies, with penalties to include a fine and up to seven years of incarceration, in addition to state penalties relating to financial crimes.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with direct knowledge of this case or any case involving animal-related crimes is encouraged to call Loudoun County Animal Services at 703-777-0406.