Stopping animal cruelty takes stronger laws, help from animal welfare advocates and sometimes the intervention of caring citizens.
The pit bull was in a small crate outside. She had cuts on her face and was bleeding. Lucky for her, a Comcast Cable technician working on Indianapolis' north side noticed the dog. He says he had to do something.
“I’m a lineman. I’ve gone in people’s backyards for the past 18 years, pit bulls- you are scared to death of them. You hear all the stories about them. I’ve never been a pit bull person, but when you see that dog laying there like that, I had to do something”
The dog was taken to the vet, who said it was clear someone had physically beat the dog..
“Why would you do that? I’ve spent the past 10-11 days trying to figure out why someone would do it” says the cable lineman.
No one came forward to claim the dog, but her rescuer came back for her and now “Dixie” is part of his family
“The dog is the most loving dog. It’s more loving the actual dog I have. She will jump up on our lap. The kids- she’ll lick them in the face. If they are sitting on the couch, she’ll lay across them and rolls over so you can pet her belly”
An example, the cable guy says of “don’t judge a book by the cover”
If animal cruelty or neglect is suspected, the Humane Society encourages you to contact animal control or law enforcement.
“Yeah, definitely contact law enforcement if it’s a non-emergency-call the non-emergency line. But I would definitely recommend people call the local authorities that deals with those kinds of cases” says Erin Huang, state director of the Humane Society of the United States.
How strong are Indiana’s animal cruelty laws? Huang says they could be better..
“We do have an ok set of laws. There are some holes that I think could be improved upon. Some of the definitions could be improved upon so we could have greater care and miniumn standards of care for animals”
Penalties for cruelty can be minimal, if pursued. Currently, 46 of the 50 states have enacted felony penalties for certain forms of animal abuse. However, in most jurisdictions, animal cruelty is most commonly charged as a misdemeanor offense.
While the Humane Society would like to see some changes to Indiana’s animal cruelty laws, it is yet to be determinered whether or not a legislator will come forward with a bill in the 2017 legislative session.
Indiana state law prohibits the following:
Cruelty, abandonment, and neglect of animals.
Acts of torture and physical abuse of an animal are a crime in Indiana.
Conducting, promoting, participating in, and attending an animal fighting contest are crimes in Indiana.
Neglect or abandonment of an animal is a crime in Indiana. A court may permanently confiscate animals that are abused or neglected.
Regulation of the treatment of animals in Indiana is not limited to state laws, counties may regulate animals. Animal shelters and animal control agencies are local institutions usually overseen by city or county government or a nonprofit organization.