How to Report Animal Cruelty

The other day, my sister was telling me about how a former roommate of hers would pick up her dog by the scruff of his neck and beat him whenever he did something bad.  Before I could say anything, my sister quickly added that the dog was no longer under the former roommate’s watch (as he had gone to a better home).  That didn’t keep me from feeling shocked, hurt, and beyond angry – the way I always feel whenever I hear about someone mistreating an animal.  Many people don’t realize that, since domesticated animals can’t stick up for themselves, we humans have to take action whenever we witness or suspect animal abuse.

I told my sister, “If the dog was still with that girl, I’d do whatever I could to find her name and address so I could report her.”  As soon as these words left my mouth, I realized that I had no idea how to report animal cruelty.  Who should I contact?  What should I say?  Would they even take my report seriously and actually do something about it?  What will happen to the animal after they take it away?  It wasn’t long before I realized that I was truly clueless and wouldn’t be able to react properly if I ever witnessed or heard about an animal being mistreated again.  The more people know about reporting animal cruelty, the more animal lives will be saved.

I did research until my eyes fell out.  Now that I can finally answer all the questions brewing in my head, I’m all armed and ready for the next time I witness or hear about an animal being abused (which I hope will be never!)  I feel that it’s only necessary to pass that information along to you, so you can know what to do in such a situation as well.

Who should I contact?

Your local law enforcement.  The type of group varies by city.  Some cities have Animal Control, while others have Humane Law Enforcement.  In other areas, especially rural areas, the police department handles animal cruelty.  In order to find out which agency or department to contact in your area, you can do one of the following three things:

  1. Call your local police department and ask them for the appropriate department and their contact information should you ever witness or suspect animal cruelty.  Save the information someplace safe.
  2. Use ASPCA’s searchable database of more than 13,000 local humane societies and animal control organizations, and find one that’s closest to you.  Contact them if you witness or suspect animal cruelty.
  3. If you witness animal cruelty in progress and don’t know who to contact, call 911.  The police dispatcher will direct you to the correct department.

What should I say?

Tell them exactly what you saw or heard.  Be as detailed as possible – use dates, times, and locations.  If possible, supply photographs and the names and contact information of other people who would back your claim.  You can file an anonymous report, but please remember that your claim will be deemed more credible if it has a name attached to it.  Let them know that you’re more than willing to lend assistance however you can during the investigation of the case.

Will they take my report seriously and do something about it?

Absolutely!  Animal cruelty is a crime. Every report of animal cruelty has to be investigated, because there are many times when an animal cruelty investigation uncovers evidence of domestic abuse, child neglect, and other forms of human-related abuse.

What will happen to the animal after they take it away?

The animal will be taken to a shelter, where it will receive necessary treatment.  There are many shelters and rescue groups willing to take care of seized animals until they’re adopted into forever homes.  However, there’s no guarantee that the animal you’re reporting on behalf of will end up in a better home.  If you involve yourself every step of the way, maybe the authorities will let you have a say in what happens to the animal after it’s removed from its abusive home.  Keep in mind that animal control officers never want to remove an animal from its home unless it’s absolutely necessary.  If the abuser goes to court and gets convicted of animal cruelty, s/he won’t be able to own any more pets in the future, and that means no other animal would have to go through the same abuse.  That’s why reporting animal cruelty is always the right thing to do.

If you want to read more on this topic, ASPCA has 10 tips for reping cruelty.

Is Leaving the Dog in the Car Abusive?

Any driver knows that the inside of a parked car gets hot really fast on a warm day and chills up really fast on a cold day.  No human wants to sit in a hot or freezing car for an extended period of time, so why do we force our dogs to do it?

Every year, countless dogs die after being locked in cars while their owners are out and about, working, shopping, visiting, or running errands.  Most of these deaths are attributed to heat strokes, so the majority of deaths occur during the summer.  A car traps heat like a greenhouse, so leaving your dog in the car for only 2 minutes on a sunny 70-degree day could easily kill him.  The best way to avoid this is to never, ever leave your dog in the car.

If you’re anything like me, you feel disturbed every time you see a dog sitting alone in a parked car, even with the windows cracked open.  It’s illegal to leave a dog alone in a car in Illinois, as well as some other states, but people still do it.  I’d always find a dog staring at me through a cracked-open window in a parked car on any given day in Chicagoland.  Now that I’ve moved to Colorado, where no animals in parked cars laws exist, I see dogs in cars everywhere!  It’s really scary how a lot of people aren’t aware of how dangerous leaving their dog in the car is.

To answer the title of this post, yes, leaving the dog in the car is abusive.  If you do it, you’re endangering your dog’s health.  It doesn’t matter how perfect the weather is.  Leaving your car parked in the shade on a breezy day can still kill your dog.  Did you know that, on days where the temperature is over 70 degrees, a car’s internal temperature raises by an average of 40 degrees within 30 minutes?  If it’s 70 degrees outside, your car will get as hot as 110 degrees!  Would you want to subject your dog (who has a furry coat) to such extreme heat?

I’m sure that a lot of dog owners would never dream of putting their dog through such torture.  The problem is, a lot of them do it because they’re unaware of how dangerous it can be.  It’s up to us animal lovers to spread the word as much as possible.  There’s this website called My Dog Is Cool that helps people spread awareness about the dangers of leaving a dog in a car.  They have fliers you can print out, and they have a lot of information available should you ever come across a dog trapped in a car.  They also created a video that illustrates how hot a car can get within a short period of time:

Does your state have a law that protects animals left in parked cars?  Find out here!

What is the Best Dog Food in 2020?

Dogs give us their all. They love us unconditionally, and they deserve nothing but the best. We should give them all the love and care in the world.

Considering how dogs treat us like gold, it’s a shame that we feed them substandard food. We stuff their mouths with artificial ingredients and animal byproducts not fit for human consumption. If we love our dogs so much, why do we make them eat food that’s detrimental to their health?

Here are the Best Dog Foods 2020.

Lack of awareness. Dog food companies try their best to hide the substandard ingredients they use in their products. As a result, we’re not as aware as we should be when it comes to what our dogs are eating. That needs to change.

That’s why we created Missouri Dogs. We want to increase your awareness about all the different kinds of dog food brands out there and help you make the best educated choices for your furry children.

We look at each dog food brand, provide an in-depth analysis based on its ingredients, and give it a letter grade. We also allow our users to post their own reviews, because we want you to be able to evaluate different opinions and make well-rounded decisions.

Not only that, but we also provide up-to-date dog food coupons and recall information. We care about dogs and we want to see them be as healthy as possible, and that means helping their owners save money and educate themselves on what they’re feeding their dogs.

Missouri Dogs strives to be one of the best sources of information on the web for dog owners. It’s because we care.

Why You Should Always Adopt a Pet From a Rescue or a No-Kill Shelter

So you’ve decided to adopt a pet. Now what?

Find a shelter. There are four different kinds of shelters: Pounds, kill shelters, no-kill shelters, and rescues. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which type of shelter to adopt a pet. Since pounds and kill shelters are some of the scariest and the most depressing places on earth, it’s only natural for you to want to sweep in and rescue an animal from one of those places.

That may not be a good idea. If you adopt a pet from a pound or a kill shelter, you have to give them money. The more money those places have, the longer they’ll be around. It would be better to give a no-kill shelter or a rescue your business. We animal lovers want to see a world where no pounds or kill shelters exist, right? Well, you have the power to help make that happen.

Animal pounds are government-controlled facilities, and they have to utilize the 5-day federal hold rule, where they have to hold an animal for more than 5 days. Once those 5 days are up, a pound can do whatever they want with the animal – release it to a rescue, sell it to a new owner, surrender it to a research lab, or euthanize it. Kill shelters are a lot like animal pounds, but they’re privately owned.

No-kill shelters, well, don’t euthanize animals (unless they’re severely ill, injured, or considered unfit for adoption). They go above and beyond to locate new homes or sanctuaries for all the animals that come in. Rescues do that too, but they usually specialize in a particular species or breed. While no-kill shelters typically keep their animals caged up at their facilities, rescues have foster parents who volunteer to take in animals until they’re adopted into forever homes. The best part about no-kill shelters and rescues is that they rescue animals from pounds and high-kill shelters! If you adopt a pet from a no-kill shelter or a rescue, you’re indirectly saving an animal from being euthanized or surrendered to a research facility! Every time a no-kill shelter or a rescue adopts out a pet, they’ll get to free up some space to save another animal from an unfortunate ending.

Think about this… if everyone in the world decided not to adopt a pet from an animal pound or kill shelter and instead went to a no-kill shelter or a rescue, what would happen? Pounds and kill shelters would eventually diminish, while no-kill shelters and rescues would flourish. Pounds and kill shelters could even be willing to surrender more pets to no-kill shelters and rescues due to not having enough money to house all those pets.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it would be better to adopt from a no-kill shelter or a rescue? Why or why not?