Tips if you suspect abuse or neglect in dogs
What to do if you suspect animal abuse
Abused dogs lack that certain spark in their eyes. They walk with their tail between their legs and their heads carried low. They have lost confidence in their selves and have lost trust in human beings. You can tell an abused dog from a mile away.
It is very unfortunate to learn that these dogs were once wonderful pets, eager to please their owners, willing to spend time together and lead a normal happy life.
Every year millions of dogs are abused and/or neglected. The difference between abuse and neglect is about what is done and what is not done. Abuse occurs when an owner or other person intentionally punishes a dog and submits it to horrendous acts. We have all heard horror stories of dogs beaten to death or trained to perform in cruel dog fights.
Neglect occurs when there is lack of care, owners leave their dog tied up to a tree with no food or water. Dogs are left outdoors on cold freezing nights or major during heat waves.
Most abused dogs will lead and continue to lead these awful days throughout their lives, unless somebody decides to finally step in and put a halt to this intolerable behavior.
If you would witness a case of abuse or neglect that are many things you can do to report such criminal activities. Abusing/neglecting a pet is considered an actual crime and there are stiff penalties. Studies have also shown that people prone to abuse animals are also those prone to rape, assault and commit homicide.
It is vital for you to know that as a witness you will be protected. You will remain anonymous, your name will only be released to those agencies that enforce animal protection just so they can follow up with you and provide updates.
You can report the case of abuse/neglect to your local animal shelter, humans society or animal control association. They should be equipped to deal with such cases and likely will start an investigation.
If there are no human societies or animal control offices in your area you can report directly to your local police department.
During The investigation officers will monitor the situation closely. In severe cases they will intervene immediately and seize the dog from its owner. The case is presented to the prosecutor's office for possible prosecution.
Fortunately, most cases are not so severe and rather require that the owner be better educated about the dog's care and needs. In this case, if neglect is suspected, the owner may receive a citation and/or is given a chance to correct the violation.
Sadly, in some cases when seized dogs are handed over to the humane society they are humanely euthanized. These are dogs whose personalities have permanently been damaged by abuse and have become in-adoptable.
On the brighter side, many dogs on a daily basis get a second chance and are adopted by caring loving owners.
In either instance, as a witness you have been the abused dog voice. You have brought the abusers to justice. You have contributed greatly by putting a halt on a dog's miserable life and the dog will be eternally grateful to you for this; either if it's soul is watching you from the above or if it is sharing precious moments with its new family.