Animal Cruelty Doesn’t Take a Holiday Break image

Animal Cruelty Doesn’t Take a Holiday Break

Guardians of Rescue puts animal cruelty in the spotlight with tips for identifying and reporting it

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Animal Cruelty Doesn’t Take a Holiday Break

As most people were making holiday plans, the Guardians of Rescue teams responded to another horrific animal abuse case. This one involved 84 dogs, two older people, and a child living in inhumane filth in Monroe County, Indiana. This case shows how important it is for people to be able to spot suspected animal abuse and know what to do about it.

A call regarding a deceased person at the residence led to an investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. When officers arrived on the scene to investigate, they were shocked to find a corpse, an overwhelming amount of feces, urine, and rotting food, causing them to be unable to breathe.

“Unfortunately, this is far from our worst case this year, and the number of new cases just keeps growing,” says Robert Misseri, the organization's founder. “As the economy turned and people’s lives changed, we see the shelters around the country are full, and people are dumping animals anywhere they can. It’s really sad.”

Additionally, he explains that puppy mills that couldn’t keep up with demand are now just letting animals die in their cages, or they sell sick dogs to unsuspecting people on the side of the road. The group is involved in several ongoing investigations regarding such situations.

From the Monroe County investigation, Guardians of Rescue took 64 of the dogs to a staging area where they were triaged and indexed. While it was a massive effort, they placed 56 dogs in less than 24 hours and rushed 8 of the sickest to their critical care center, where they are still fighting to survive. All the dogs were ill and suffering, and unfortunately, despite their best efforts, one of them died shortly after it arrived. Many dogs had Coccidia, Giardia, Round Worm, Whip Worms, ear infections, stomach infections, and skin infections.

“We help a lot of animals each year, but we can’t do it without the generosity of people in the community,” added Misseri. "Every dollar donated gets put to good use, and we appreciate all the support."

Here are some tips to spot animal abuse and what to do about it:

  • Living conditions. Animals that don't have adequate shelter, lack food and water, and live in filthy conditions may be abused.
  • Hoarding. Hoarding animals is a serious issue that often leads to neglect and abusive conditions. A home with an excessive amount of animals may not provide adequate care for them.
  • Appearance. How animals look can provide signs of whether or not they are being adequately cared for. Animals that are emaciated or look sickly should be evaluated.
  • Taking action. Those who see violence toward animals should immediately call 911 to report the crime. It should be reported to local animal authorities if animal abuse is suspected.

This year was challenging for the organization as we rescued over 1,500 animals. Their teams often arrived on the scene within hours from when we were called in. Other cases take months to investigate but end up with the responsible parties being held accountable and getting unscrupulous breeds shut down.