Since April is “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month,” it’s a good time to reaffirm the commitment to preven and stop cruelty. Help us continue to fight animal cruelty in our communities by making a donation today!
LifeLine Animal Project works hard to prevent animal cruelty in a number of ways. Our community outreach events, like Healthy Pets, educate people on animal care and provide needed resources. Our Fulton County Animal Control Officers work with communities on pet care issues, pet education and pet concerns. We also provide dog houses to pet owners who cannot afford them and talk to them about bringing their pet indoors, and we have worked to successfully strengthen existing animal protection ordinances in Fulton County.
However, despite our efforts, one of the saddest aspects of our work is frequently seeing abused animals come into our shelters. From taking in neglected and starving dogs, to surgically removing ingrown collars, to treating animals with burns or mange, or helping animals who are abused and terrified, we do everything in our power to help the animals heal, both physically and emotionally. Additionally, we work hard (in Fulton County) to prosecute the perpetrators of animal abuse.
Animal cruelty is illegal in every state (and a felony in 46), and statistics show that most animal abusers go on to hurt people, In fact, up to 71% of domestic violence victims report that their abuser has threatened, harmed, or killed their pets. However, numerous cases of animal abuse go unreported because witnesses are unwilling to call or file a report.
Why are so many people unwilling to report animal abuse? There are many reasons, including fear of retaliation (usually by a neighbor who is abusing an animal), not wanting to get involved, presuming nothing will be done and concern that the abuser will only hurt the animal more.
A large number of animals die from neglect every year, so if you see animal cruelty, remember you may be the only voice for that animal.
Pay particular attention to and report:
- Chained dogs, since they are most likely to die from starvation, dehydration or hypothermia.
- Animals without shelter in extreme heat or cold.
- Clearly emaciated animals: clearly visible bones and lethargy can be a sign of an untreated, life-threatening medical condition or imminent starvation.
- A dog who is howling or barking for more than a day, since they are sending out a clear signal that they’re not being cared for.
- A dog whose collar is too tight. Not increasing the size of a collar as an animal grows causes injury, strangulation and death.
If you see abuse in DeKalb County, call 404.294.2939 or 404.294.2996 ext. 2, or in Fulton County call 404.613.0358, and tell the officer as many details of the situation as you can, including the location, date and time, and descriptions of the people and animals involved. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) can help bolster the case. It's also useful to give names of others who may have witnessed the incident.
Please testify. While you may remain anonymous, the case will be much stronger if you are willing to identify yourself and testify to what you witnessed. Since animals cannot talk, a human witness is crucial for building a strong, prosecutable case, and keeping the abuser from getting more animals and abusing them too.
The worst thing someone can do if they witness or suspect animal cruelty or neglect is nothing. Call animal services and ask someone to investigate. You’ll be ending the suffering of an animal and helping us send a message to abusers that animal cruelty will not be tolerated!
Help us continue to fight animal cruelty in our communities by making a donation today!