VT Sees Gradual Rise In Animal Cruelty Cases

By Staci DaSilva | sdasilva@nexstar.tv

Published 05/01 2014 06:25PM

Updated 05/02 2014 02:31PM

VT Sees Gradual Rise In Animal Cruelty Cases
VT Sees Gradual Rise In Animal Cruelty Cases

Animal control experts say animal cruelty and neglect cases have been growing gradually in Vermont for the last several years.

A 2-year old pitbull mix was found dead off Old River Road in Hartford, Vermont this week.

Officials say the cause of death was purposeful strangulation and trauma to the back of its neck.

Animal control experts say they're seeing more and more of these cases across the state.

“There's been an increase over the years due to resources that people have available to them now, the public has available to be able to report cruelty or animal neglect,” said Chittenden County Humane Society’s Humane Investigator Joann Nichols. “Law enforcement is getting more trained so there's a lot more resources that Vermont is offering."

Resources, like reportanimalcrueltydotcom, Vermont's animal cruelty reporting program. Joann Nichols says the website is a good way to get to the bottom of these cases.

She sees between 100-200 animal cruelty and animal neglect cases every year.

“Animal cruelty is the intent to cause harm to an animal. Animal neglect is the omission of care,” said Nichols.

The Chittenden County Humane Society is holding 80 animals right now. While most are relinquished for other reasons, a few have been brought to the shelter after experiencing abuse. 

“It can be abuse,” explained Chittenden County Humane Society President Nancy Cathcart. “It can be animals that have been poorly cared for, even hit, kicked, cut. It's pretty traumatic when those kinds of animals come in."

Vermont has the highest number of pet owners per capita in the country.

And adopting out pets from here is fairly easy. Because of this, Chittenden County is willing to take on even more animals, from other regions.

“We often transport dogs and we bring them up here. They're completely healthy, young animals who will be euthanized purely because of not enough space in the shelter from which they're being held,” said Cathcart.

 Chittenden County Humane Society does not euthanize animals because of space or an animal's length of stay.

If you're thinking of adopting a pet, Chittenden County is one of 12 shelters around the state taking part in the Maddie's Fund event at the end of the month. You can adopt a dog or a cat for free the weekend of May 31st and June 1st.

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