Shiloh's Law - Recognizing Abuse & Neglect
Published in the May 2012 Action Magazine
As I discussed last month, there is still a need to empower veterinarians in conjunction with our community service and/or law enforcement officers to be able to impound an animal when a serious violation occurs. I am working on organizing a local Animal Welfare Group, enlisting the help of individuals and humane organizations in
Kenosha who want to help make positive changes in our animal welfare laws. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact me at (262) 658-3533.
I am appealing to all of you to be advocates for animals and report potential animal cruelty to your local law enforcement agency. Recognizing cruelty is not always easy, according to ASPCA experts. But here are some signs that may alert you that an animal needs help according to the ASPCA:
Â· Collar extremely tight that it causes a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet's neck
Â· Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn't being treated
Â· Untreated skin conditions that has caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
Â· Extreme thinness or emaciationâ€”bones may be visible
Â· Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
Â· Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
Â· Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
Â· An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
Â· Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness
Â· Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
Â· Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
Â· Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
Â· Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals
If you see signs of animal abuse or cruelty, please don't keep it to yourself - report it!
Tips for Reporting Animal Cruelty
It is very important to provide local law enforcement with a concise, written, factual statement of what you observed, giving dates and approximate times whenever possible. If at all feasible, try to photograph the abusive situation and date your pictures. It would also be helpful to get short, factual written statements from other witnesses.
When you call to report animal cruelty, always keep a careful record of who you contact, the date of the contacts and the content and outcome of your discussion. Never give away a document without making a copy for your file! Make it clear that you are willing to lend whatever assistance you can.
Keep in mind that expert witnesses are sometimes necessary in animal cruelty cases. A veterinarian, for example, can sign a statement that it is his or her "expert opinion" that a dog suffers when hit with a chain, is deprived of food, etc. So if you happen to know a sympathetic veterinarian, you may wish to seek his or her assistance and let the officer that you have expert support available to assist.
By reporting animal cruelty to local law enforcement (and you can do so anonymously) you will help ensure that innocent animals in need are rescued and their abusers are brought to justice.
Shannon Adamczyk, Office Manager