SEARSPORT, Maine — The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the deadly shootings of three dogs last year.

Two Great Danes were found shot to death on Dec. 4, and the killings were similar to one that involved a Rottweiler found shot to death in September.

Acting on a tip, Police Chief Dick LaHaye and police Officer Eric Bonney found a 2-year-old male Great Dane and 4-month-old female Great Dane dead, lying on a piece of plastic beside Nickels Road about 2 p.m. Dec. 4. The male had been shot multiple times and the female puppy had been shot once.

In September, Searsport Animal Control Officer Rory McLaughlin found a Rottweiler shot dead. The dog’s body also was left on a piece of plastic on Nickels Road.

The three dogs, who lived within one mile of Nickels Road, were running at large when they were killed. The owner of the Great Danes had called the evening they were found to report they had gotten loose.

Police have indicated that if the person or people responsible are found, they likely would be charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty and aggravated criminal mischief.

“It is still an open investigation and we have partnered with the Humane Society on this,” LeHaye said Monday. “Right now we’re just waiting. We anticipate making progress on this investigation.”

Getting the attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community, according to Katie Lisnik, state director for the Humane Society.

Lisnik said the connection between animal cruelty and human violence has been well-documented. Studies have shown a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“Those who abuse animals can be dangerous to people,” Lisnik said. “Mainers have no tolerance for violence against the creatures who share our world.”

The Humane Society’s animal cruelty campaign is designed to raise public awareness and to educate communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Searsport police at 548-2304 or 323-1490.