Animal lovers in Georgia can take pride in the decision by authorities to educate their law enforcement personnel in preventing animal cruelty and dog and rooster fighting. On Wednesday, May 28, many law enforcement personnel were enrolled in the Thomasville training conducted by the Humane Society of the United States.
There have been increases in animal cruelty in the U.S. and internationally. In some cases, there have been shocking cruelty cases, and inhumane occurrences seem to be on the rise. Everyone that loves animals agrees something must be done. Therefore, kudos to Georgia for their efforts.
The officers learned what they and other enforcement agencies must notice when they are investigating animal cruelty.
Most frequently, officers respond to reports about puppy mills, dogs left alone in hot cars, horses too weak to stand, dog fighting, physically abused animals, chained and neglected and starving animals, or even abandoned ones.
The seminar attendees viewed a particularly intense video on cruelty in which a woman was selling adorable puppies at a flea market. The puppies were cute and seemed happy enough, but what was not visible in this “ideal cute little pup scene” was the behind-the-scenes horror the animals had to endure. Other puppies and the breeding dogs were housed in atrocious, deplorable conditions. There was simply nothing humane about how these dogs were forced to live their lives. Most were in tiny, filthy cages in their own feces, had dirty water and roaches were running around on their food.
Ed Williams, who is the executive director of the Thomasville and Thomas County Humane Society, noted that typical law enforcement agencies are mostly involved with criminals and drug related violations. It used to be they did not often have the need to investigate animal cruelty but that is changing. They now need to know how to recognize and handle abuse to animals.
Derrick Lawrence of Cherokee County Animal Enforcement says,
There's an increase in animal cruelty. A lot of puppy mills and things of that nature. They're supplementing their income. The economy hasn't been that great, so they're trying to figure out some way to generate some type of income.
Statistic about puppy mills and dog fighting are sobering. Based on intense studies by the Humane Society, there are about 40,000 people actively participating in dog fighting and about 15,000 puppy mills in the United States.
Eric Hill, investigator, says authorities are increasingly seeing more animal cruelty. There is now “more stuff going on in our cities.” It is important to get out information, to encourage people to report cruelty, to recognize and successfully investigate animal abuse and to prosecute abusers successfully.
It is encouraging to know that this problem is recognized – for now in Georgia.