Fight back against animal abuse

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

Animals can bring fun, laughter, friendship and love into a person’s life. Sadly, humans do not always reciprocate in the way they treat their four-legged companions.

April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month and local law enforcement wants to make sure citizens realize animal abuse is not only a bad idea – it’s also against the law.

&uot;I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, ‘Abuse an animal – go to jail.’ That’s just how it is,&uot; stresses Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris.

&uot;If you see anyone denying an animal - be it cat, dog, horse, whatever - regular food or water, that’s a form of abuse. If you see someone beating an animal, of course, that is abuse. If it’s out in the county, please contact our office; if it’s in town, contact the city police department,&uot; Harris said.

The sheriff is particularly concerned over reports in the last few months that dogs are being stolen for use in dog fights held out in the county.

&uot;If you know anything about dogs being stolen and used for fighting, please contact us. This is a clear case of animal abuse,&uot; she said.

At the Greenville-Butler County Animal Shelter, Animal Control Officer Arnold Boggan says some of the animals they take in as strays show signs of abuse and/or neglect.

&uot;We do see animals brought in here that are too thin and just aren’t getting enough to eat or drink – it’s just not right,&uot; Boggan said.

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram applauds the Greenville-Butler County Animal Shelter for the work it does in combating animal cruelty in the city and county.

&uot;Unfortunately, animal abuse and neglect is a real problem. I am so glad we have dedicated, trained personnel at the shelter. They have in the past filed charges against people for cruelty and neglect – so they are out there doing their job,&uot; says Ingram.

Other potential signs of animal abuse and neglect concerned citizens should look out for include:

*Tick or flea infestations. Such conditions, if left untreated, can lead to the animal’s death.

*Wounds on body.

*Patches of missing hair.


*Dogs who have been hit by cars and not taken directly to the vet for treatment.

*Animals left outside during severe weather without proper shelter.

*Animals left chained in yards for long periods of time without regular food and water.

The animal shelter can be contacted Monday through Friday at 382-7806. The number for the Butler County Sheriff’s Office is 382-6521 and the City of Greenville Police Department can be reached at 382-7461.