Sunday, December 23, 2012

Animal Cruelty - Be Part of the Solution

Be Their Voice And Stop Animal Cruelty

We've all seen the headlines over the last year. Animal cruelty, especially hoarding cases, are becoming all too common.  Delaware has certainly seen it's share of these cases in the past year.

There was a recent article that discusses the financial impact these cases have on shelters across the country.
Agencies also victims
Across Pennsylvania, shelters like the ARL take in the victims of animal abuse cases, holding the animals until their owners have their day in court. But as costs build - oftentimes through lengthy appeals and the owners' refusal to surrender the animals for adoption - the agencies become victims themselves, shouldering thousands of dollars in costs as their space for new animals runs thin.
"This is one of the reasons why it puts such a stress on shelters," Brown said. "You'd be surprised how many shelters look the other way because they know they're going to be stuck with them for months or years." -

While our task force it looking at the various issues that impact animals in our state, they need to consider funding shelters for the care required when animals are held before an animal cruelty case goes to court. Especially now that shelters are facing more and more hoarding cases.

What Can We Do As Citizens 

The fact is, these cases would be more manageable, and more animals can be saved if the public becomes part of the solution.

People are reluctant to speak up about animal cruelty for any number of reasons.  They don't want to make enemies of a neighbor.  They don't want to upset their employer.  They are worried that people will blame them if some of the animals need to be euthanized.

But the Caboodle Ranch case is a good example of why the public needs to overcome reasons like above, and help the animals as soon as they know cruelty is happening.  While there was an extensive effort to save the cats, and most of the cats were saved in that case, the fact is that dozens of deceased cats were found on the property and many other cats suffered before the rescue occurred.  Had more people spoke up earlier, the suffering and deaths that resulted could have been prevented.
"These cats have been through so much. At the Caboodle Ranch where they were rescued by the ASPCA and local officials in February, investigators found cats that were in desperate need of immediate veterinary attention. Some were having difficulty breathing; others were sneezing and lethargic. One cat was soaked in urine and feces and could not stand, and another's eyes were matted shut. Dozens of deceased cats were also discovered throughout the property." - Huffington Post
While I think our state should pay for the costs associated with these kind of cases, I also believe we need to  do our part as citizens that care about animals.  Even if your decision to report such cases may bring grief in the short run, most people will know that you are the hero that stopped the suffering of the animals involved.  The animals don't have a voice to speak up, so we need to be that voice !!!

The Solution - Eddie Kirkland
"In the middle of the mess
In the center of the storm
I am right where I belong here
Where the shadow people walk
And the light is all but gone
I am right where I belong here

I'll be a light for the eyes that cannot see
I'll be a voice for the lips that cannot speak
To the broken I will carry your love
I will be part of the solution"

How To Report Cruelty In Delaware

If you witness animal cruelty, make a report with the state police as soon as possible.  Because cruelty statutes are handled by the State Attorney General office, the state police will be more familiar with dealing with the state Attorney General agency.  If the state police will not take your report, then make your report with the State Attorney General office in your county.

Below are the contact numbers you will need.

Delaware State Police: Troop 1
603 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE 19809
Delaware State Police: Troop 5
9265 Public Safety Way
Bridgeville, DE 19933
Delaware State Police: Troop 2
100 Lagrange Ave
Newark, DE 19702
Delaware State Police: Troop 6
3301 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19808
Delaware State Police: Troop 3
3036 Upper King Rd
Dover, DE 19904
Delaware State Police: Troop 7
18006 Coastal Highway
Lewes, DE 19958
Delaware State Police: Troop 4
23652 Shortly Rd
Georgetown, DE 19947
Delaware State Police: Troop 9
414 Main Street
Odessa, DE 19730

Delaware State Attorney General Contact Information

 Wilmington Office:Carvel State Office Bldg
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Mon.-Fri.
Criminal Div.:(302) 577-8500 
Fax:(302) 577-2496

 Dover Office:
102 W. Water Street
Dover, DE 19904

8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Mon.-Fri.

Get Directions
Criminal Div.:(302) 739-4211
Civil Div.:(302) 739-7641

 Georgetown Office:114 East Market St.
Georgetown, DE 19947
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Mon.-Fri.
Phone:(302) 856-5353
Fax:(302) 856-5369

Cruelty Law Summary

Confronting Animal Neglect in America - This publication by provides a good summary of Delaware's animal cruelty statute.


SUMMARY: The “cruelty to animals” statute includes “cruel neglect” and specifically defines
what proper feed, shelter and veterinary care include, as well as a definition of “cruel neglect.”
DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 11, § 1325 (2004). Cruelty to animals; class A misdemeanor; class F felony. 
(a) For the purpose of this section, the following words and phrases shall include, but not be limited to, the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows:
(1) "Cruel" includes every act or omission to act whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted. 
(2) "Cruel mistreatment" includes any treatment whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted. 
(3) "Cruel neglect" includes neglect of an animal, which is under the care and control of the neglector, whereby pain or suffering is caused to the animal or abandonment of any domesticated animal by its owner or custodian. By way of example, cruel neglect shall also include allowing an animal to live in unsanitary conditions, such as keeping an animal where the animal’s own excrement is not removed from the animal’s living area and/or other living conditions which are injurious to the animal’s health.
(4) "Cruelty to animals" includes mistreatment of any animal or neglect of any animal under the care and control of the neglector, whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused. By way of example this includes: Unjustifiable beating of an animal; overworking an animal; tormenting an animal; abandonment of an animal; failure to feed properly or give proper shelter or veterinary care to an animal. 
(8) "Proper feed" includes providing each animal with daily food and water of sufficient quality and quantity to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(9) "Proper shelter" includes providing each animal with adequate shelter from the weather elements as required to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(10) "Proper veterinary care" includes providing each animal with veterinary care sufficient to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
* * * * * 

If we don't speak for the animals, who will?  

Be an animals's hero, and be part of the solution.