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How Do I Stop Dog Abusers?

How Do I Stop Dog Abusers? I need the answer to this question, and if anyone reading this has this answer, your comments are most definitely appreciated.  How to stop dog abusers is something that runs through my mind daily. Seriously: I want it to stop and I am not alone.

If you’ve landed on this article because you, too, want to stop dog abusers, there are actionable things you can do if you suspect dog abuse. What constitutes dog abuse needs to be clearly defined, so let’s start there. Note: There are NO graphic images or video in this article. You are safe to read on and not see anything disturbing.

prevent dog abuse

Dog Abuse

Abuse of an animal can be deliberately causing harm or is also defined as failing to care for an animal. The animal can be a pet, farm animal, or wildlife: ANY animal that is harmed constitutes abuse.

Why are the crimes of violence and abuse inflicted on dogs getting so much worse? Not a day goes by that my Facebook feed and Google Alerts are filled with the most horrific dog abuse cases. I sit and wonder what I can do to stop it. I sit and wonder how our world has become so out of control. I sit and I wonder what it will take to make the abuse not only stop but be punishable to the highest degree of the law.

Do you wonder these things? Do you sometimes “hide” these images and stories from your news feeds on social media? You aren’t alone: This particular blogger knows dozens and dozens of animal lovers who do the same thing.

I won’t go into vivid details of the types of reports I am reading, but dog abuse is out of control.

There are things you can do to help an animal if you suspect dog abuse (or abuse of ANY animal). Most people fear someone “finding” out and seeking revenge on them. The more we speak up for abused animals, the faster this epidemic can stop. Read on.

spanking dog

How to Report Dog Abuse or Suspected Dog Abuse

 If a dog is in immediate danger, call authorities immediately. Do not wait: It may turn tragic otherwise. If you can document what you see, take photos, and/or video, this will help the case.

Where to report animal cruelty or suspected abuse: Our friends at the ASPCA share this important information:

In New York City
If you live in New York City and need to report animal cruelty, please contact 311. To report crimes in progress in any borough, please call 911.

In New Jersey
If you believe you have witnessed animal cruelty in the state of New Jersey and would like to report it, please call the NJSPCA at (800) 582-5979 or fill out NJSPCA’s online form.

In Other Areas
Find out who is responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in your town, county and/or state, such as your local humane organization, animal control agency, taxpayer-funded animal shelter or police precinct. If you have trouble finding the correct agency to contact, call or visit your local police department or your local shelter or animal control agency for assistance.

Dog needs help
Baby Joey’s rear legs were severed as a puppy. He is recovering thanks to NYC Second Chance Rescue and Merrick Pet Care.

How Can I Prove to Authorities There is Dog Abuse?

Document everything without putting yourself in danger. Include dates, times, images or video if possible, and keep a record. If there are others who can help you, provide that contact information to the proper authorities.

What Animal Abuse Images or Video Online?

From the ASPCA:

  • Access this background information for a particular website by visiting whois.netand doing a “whois” search of the site in question.
  • Contact the site’s ISP (Internet service provider) about the offensive material.
  • If you have concrete information that a website is displaying/promoting criminal acts, you may wish to contact any or all of the following organizations and advise them of the facts of the situation:
    • Local law enforcement officials (“Local” in this case means based in the area from which the website originates—the “whois” search will provide you with the registrant’s address) and, if you think an animal is in immediate danger, the possible offender’s local FBI branch
    • Your local animal shelter or humane society, which may have the power to enforce animal cruelty laws in the area
    • The local city/county Health Department/Board of Health, because abuse of animals often involves unsafe or unsanitary conditions for humans
    • The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), but only if what you have seen has a financial element (someone selling, trading, or offering an illegal good or service)
    • Local and national media organizations, as the power of the media to bring public attention to an animal abuse situation can help initiate corrective actions

be prepared for emergency evacuation

Can I Remain Anonymous?

Yes, you can. To speak up is better than doing nothing, but provide as much proof and evidence as possible. If charges are brought forward, it is best to reveal yourself so that you can testify in court. Many cases do not require testimony, and humane officers can report. Information you provide is kept confidential.

Dogs cannot speak for themselves, so giving them a voice on your behalf is crucial if abuse or neglect is suspected or known.

What About Laws Against Animal Abuse?

As a part of the mission to end dog fighting, the ASPCA is currently working to get the U.S. Sentencing Commission to raise the jail penalties for people who fight animals. Dog fighting is a horrific crime and considered a felony in all 50 states. Sadly, the current recommended jail sentences do not reflect the seriousness of the offense – convicted dog fighters receive prison sentences as low as six months in jail and almost half of all offenders only get probation. This coming April, the Commission will be updating their sentencing guidelines, and animal fighting is on the agenda.

Dog Fighting Awareness Day is April 8th. On April 16th, the fundraising arm of this blog, Wigglebutt Warriors, is hosting a sold-out gala fundraiser to help victims of dog abuse, dog fighting, bait dogs, and others, from NYC Second Chance Rescue. As a member of the dog blogging world, I will never NOT speak up for dogs in need. Be creative if you want to host a fundraiser for dogs in need. We are doing that and will not stop to help those who have no voice.

The more the spotlight is shone on animal abusers, the more the light can shine it’s rays on the darkness that is abuse and dog fighting.

Help us get the word out by getting tough and enter to win a #GetTough prize pack below.  One random winner will be selected on April 9th.

Whatever you do, speak up and speak out. Without our voices, the abusers win. That cannot happen: The caring people of the world will prevail and love will win.

Prevent dog abuseWINNER IS Linda Szymoniak
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32 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this important information. My only tip is to try to prevent abuse before it starts. Teach your children AND other people’s children that animals deserve love and respect.

  2. I can’t even. I don’t understand how anyone could abuse a sweet innocent animal!!!

  3. Excellent resources to help fight animal cruelty, thanks! Animal abuse is not only horrific for animals, but statistics show that animal abusers often “graduate” to crimes against people. Dog fighting has a lot of linkages to drug activity, weapons trafficking, and other crimes so it’s in everyone’s interest to stop it. It’s a known fact that dog fighting takes place in the Southern part of my city (Phoenix) and although there have been a lot of successes in combatting it, we still have so much of it. I think educating children to reject dog fighting and any form of neglect or cruelty to animals is important – kids need to be taught that what they learn from some family members and in the neighborhood is wrong; it’s NOT ok to treat animals badly. This is especially relevant in lower socio-economic areas where such activity is cultural & accepted or overlooked. I’m proud to be sponsoring the Wigglebutt Warriors event in April! I’m so glad NYC Second Chance Rescue will be the beneficiary of this fund raiser, they’re doing amazing work to help animals!

  4. Getting as much proof as possible is really important. I am glad that people are able to report anonymously because some may fear the backlash that comes from reporting abusers.

  5. I’ve been an avid animal advocate for years. Volunteered at my shelter and with my advocacy group in Florida. They have an anti dog fighting group on fb and in Lee County, FL- search fb for these types of pages for your area- help raise awareness in your own communities. Everyone can do something.

  6. Thanks for sharing such important information. Whenever I see stuff on the news about someone abusing a dog it just makes me so sick and angry. Thanks for your efforts.

  7. There are just a lot of evil people in the world, people who don’t deserve to be pet owners, if that’s what they call themselves. How can you abuse a defenseless animal is beyond me.

  8. I’ve done some volunteer work with no-kill shelters that have taken in abused dogs so I appreciate you addressing this problem. I’ve seen some horrible things and appreciate those people who make an effort to stop animals from being tortured and neglected.

  9. Unfortunately, many times a dog is abused because it has messed in the house or chewed up something. Getting the dog some basic training may help keep it out of the type of situation that can instigate abuse. The sad truth is, many totally innocent animals who have never done anything wrong are abused. Another aspect of abuse is neglect. It’s not what is done to the animal, but what is NOT done. Not providing food, water, shelter, or companionship is neglect, but in my opinion is as much abuse as striking the dog. Three of my rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds came from kill shelters in NC and SC. Kenji was one of 30+ dogs tied along the property line of a man who was involved in (illegal) cock fighting. They had estimated him to be two years old, but when he went to the vet for his health certificate (required for transport), they estimated him to be just 7 months old (and he did grow quite a bit after he got to me, so I suspect that estimated was the more correct of the two). To tie a puppy to a fence for no other reason than to be there to bark if anyone comes around – not providing adequate food or water, or any kind of shelter, – is not only neglect, but abuse. Despite this, Kenji is the sweetest, most loving boy. My Kyoko was dumped in a kill shelter after nearly being starved. She weighed 30 pounds when she should have been twice that. She had no idea what it meant to live in a home and sleep on a bed (and unfortunately, since she was likely used for hunting, at first tried to go after my cats, although she is great with other dogs and people). She’s no downright chubby and I’m working on getting her to lose a few more pounds. I don’t have any real history on my Seiji, except that he was pulled for me from another kill shelter just before he would have been killed. He had no idea what it meant to get loved on by people and was confused when I tried to get him to play. He would even get “growlly” now and again. He’s been with me for going on 4-1/2 years and now he plays and sleeps on my bed and does great with our other dogs. He’s never bothered the cats, which is great.

    I’m a volunteer rescue transport driver, and I’ve had two dogs actually die in my vehicle on their way from the shelter in Gary to the vet. Another died less than an hour after getting to the vet (he was totally emaciated and so full of fleas and intestinal parasites he had no red blood cells left). We try to save as many as we can, but reading about the cases of abuse, which really seem to be on the rise – not just in the US, but around the world – and dealing directly with dogs who have been neglected and abused, really opened my eyes. I’ve driven dogs that had been used for fighting – others that were used as bait dogs or for breeding of more fighting dogs. I’ve transported dogs that were from puppy mills – so timid and in such poor health after literally being worn out by constant breeding.

    One thing to note. While calling authorities seems to be the best option, in too many cases NOTHING is done, or is done too late for the animal. We really need to push for stricter laws with regard to animal abuse and neglect here in the US. Tennessee is the first state to implement an animal abuse registry and we’re pushing for a nation-wide listing. There is a lot that needs to be done to help animals, and there are times it feels like we’re losing the battle, but we have to keep doing what we can for them.

  10. My Heart Beats Dogs. I cannot even fathom hurting an animal and I am so glad their are people and organizations out there standing up for our furry friends.

  11. I have no answer for this as am still trying to understand it here but as someone said it starts with educating kids, a kid showing abusive behavior should be taught the opposite and move on from there.
    That is our thoughts on this although I sometimes I think I am day dreaming as the way the world is today its going to take decades of education to eliminate it totally.

  12. We discussed this Sunday night as I was preparing for our BFTB News. We only report happy stories because there is so much tragedy in the news. Some weeks it is really difficult to find joy among all of the abuse stories. It makes me sick. A great tip for helping to stop abuse is to report it to authorities.

  13. I live in the Chicago area and we have a program where volunteers can sign up as court advocates for animal abuse cases. Basically, once trained and certified, volunteers just simply attend court cases. Their very presence at least guarantees the cases are heard in front of a judge, etc. Sadly, at least here in Chicago, abuse and neglect cases are often settled or thrown out before being heard.. However, if there’s Safe Humane Court Advocate present, the cases are heard – kind of like if there’s a witness, they can’t just dismiss the case. It’s a great way to help. I’m in the process of applying to become a court advocate.

    We had a really a horrific case here in Chicago recently. I won’t go into the details, but the abuser was brought to justice. Unfortunately, this case sparked threats against other strays in retaliation. I read an article around the time of this case that stated that for every one good story (a rescue or feel good animal story) posted on social media there are two other stories depicting abuse posted – actual animals being abused, pictures, videos, etc. Knowing this, I’m even more committed to posting rescue, second chance adoption, hopeful animal stories on my blog and other social media outlets. It’s my own small way of fighting this horror.

    1. It does my heart such good to read that you said it is your way of fighting this horror. Together we are not solo in this, and if you are talking about it in Chicago, and I am here in PA doing something, and the cycle of getting the word out continues…the good has to prevail. I appreciate you very much!

  14. Stricter laws need to be made. I vote an eye for an eye. A animal abuser registry needs to be made in all 50 states and beyond. Once you abuse an animal that’s it you can’t have one EVER again. No ifs, ands or buts. Start teaching children in schools about animal abuse and teach them that it is wrong to help put an end to them growing up to abuse animals.

  15. for one thing many states and counties have laws but they are not enforced. if you know your county or state has laws and no one is doing anything abt it i would suggest contacting the governor of the state. another thing that needs to be done is to make it a felony not just a misdemeanor. these people need to go to prison and pay fines. most people get off with just a warning or a small fine, which is totally unacceptable. in NC, we have had many and there will be more. even though we have the laws, they are not enforced. we even have laws abt leaving a dog in a hot car. i have called the police over this several times, they never showed. when i called back, to find out why no one showed up, it was taken with a grain of salt. we need to find a way to make sure the police and other agencies that govern these laws, enforce them. the aspca just had the largest rescue of animals from a shelter, over 700. the police had been called many times regarding this shelter and did nothing. the shelter did not even have a license for over 10 yrs and still nothing was done. finally the people were caught and are in jail. however, it should not have taken 10 yrs to get this situation under control. i guess if your state officials are not doing anything, contact the aspca.

  16. If you are rehoming a cat/kitten or a dog/puppy always make sure it is fixed first so it can’t be used as a breeding dog. Also to prevent any more unwanted pets that may end up in an abusive situation.

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