Animal Services offers tips to spot potential abuseApril is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and Newport News Animal Services urges everyone to join in the fight against animal cruelty. Animal cruelty occurs when a person willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain on any animal. It can also include abandoning an animal or failing to provide adequate food, water, shelter or other care for an animal.
Signs that an Animal Might Be Abused While many people assume that animals that show aggressive, timid or fearful behavior are abused, these behaviors don’t always point to animal cruelty. The best way to tell whether a pet is being, or has been, abused is to examine the pet and their surrounding environment. The following are some of the signs that may indicate an animal needs help:
Animal Hoarding: Animal hoarding occurs when an individual houses a large quantity of animals, often in unmanageable numbers. The conditions in these cases usually lead to extremely unsanitary conditions, sick animals and can even result in the death of some of the animals due to lack of care. These conditions may also cause serious health consequences for the people who are living in them. In some cases, individuals charged with animal abuse and neglect in hoarding situations have been found to have children or dependent adults living in the same conditions as the animals who were suffering.
Why is it important to report animal cruelty? Newport News Animal Services finds out about most instances of animal abuse in Newport News through phone calls from concerned citizens who have witnessed cruelty in their neighborhoods. Without tips from the public, many animals would remain in abusive circumstances, mute and unable to defend themselves. Please remember: a caller’s identify is never given out when they report an animal cruelty violation.
In many instances animal control officers who respond to cruelty complaint calls are able to rectify the situation by simply educating the pet owner. Many citizens are unaware of Virginia’s animal laws and may not know that they are violating a law. Reporting suspected animal cruelty ensures that animals in jeopardy receive prompt and, often, lifesaving care.
For suspected animal cruelty cases in Newport News citizens should contact Animal Services at 757-595-7387.