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  1. #1
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    Is there a place to report a potential animal abuser?

    I heard a terrifying story today. My mom was visiting a friend of a friend today who is now on pedigree dog #3.

    #3 is a toy Yorkie, a tiny puppy whom she disciplines by choking it so it gasps for breath. She also whacks it with a towel, which doesn't sound like much but when you are as tiny as that dog, it probably feels like being hit with a cement mixer. This behavior in itself while horrid (the thing is barely 0.5 lbs in weight) is not in itself overt abuse.

    However, a few months ago her 6 months old French bulldog was found with a broken spine and had to be put down. So the story went. I believed it at the time but now that I hear how she treats her animals, I wonder what happened to that dog.

    Also, her son (about 7 or so) walked around with a shiner on his face that he said his mom gave him.

    Sounds like I know a female Michael Vick. What to do?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Ack! I would certainly be concerned too. And for the poor son as well.

    Who is responsible for animal control in the area where this person lives? In some places it's the ASPCA, in other places the city/region has their own animal control agency. I would start with them and see if they deal with animal abuse as well as missing/hurt animals. Sometimes they will visit a house if they get a complaint, but sometimes that also depends on what kind of animal cruelty laws there are in the area. And often those are very weak or non-existent so they don't legally have the power to do much.

    Failing that, if there are any privately run animal rescue groups or shelters in the area, often they can be an excellent source of information and help.

    Personally I would be tempted to go over and kidnap the poor doggy, if she ever lets it out of the house.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Honestly, I would look into reporting it but I doubt there is much they can do outside of making a visit and talking to her. I am sure she would deny any abuse. I second the idea of kidnapping the dog. Sounds horrible but it would be the only way to probably save that dog. The downside is she will probably just get another. As for the kid, I would report it immediately to CPS. The mom never has to know who called and if the kid was telling a story, which kids can do, then they will sort that out.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    As for the kid, I would report it immediately to CPS. The mom never has to know who called and if the kid was telling a story, which kids can do, then they will sort that out.
    Agreed 100%.

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    I would call CPS immediately about the kid, and then the Humane Society about the dog.

    When I had a neighbor abusing his dog, the HS came out and didn't do anything. Fortunately, the guy got rid of the dog soon after that. But maybe your HS is better.

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    If this was in San Francisco, call the Departments of City's Animal Care & Control and Children, Youth & Families. Other cities and counties have similar agencies.

    If you or your mother observe any acts of abuse, call the police.

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    Call the police if a child is involved as well.

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    I've never met the child, so this is hearsay. Also I think the bruise has happened a while ago. I will, however relate your advice to the friend who lives near her to watch for signs of abuse of the child and the dog.

    Thanks and please keep the advice coming.

    This is not in San Francisco, rather in the East Bay.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Did your mom see the shiner? If so, she should definitely call Children's Protective Services (or whatever it is called in your area) AND also tell them about the dog situation. This lady sounds seriously unbalanced, and the child (and puppy) deserve every chance to get safe. This is so even if the shiner is in the past.

    This is very scary. People who think that it is okay to choke an animal have completely lost it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Did your mom see the shiner? If so, she should definitely call Children's Protective Services (or whatever it is called in your area) AND also tell them about the dog situation. This lady sounds seriously unbalanced, and the child (and puppy) deserve every chance to get safe. This is so even if the shiner is in the past.

    This is very scary. People who think that it is okay to choke an animal have completely lost it.
    Yes! You can also call Child Protective Services to discuss the situation. I've called a few times to see if something was an issue that they would accept as a referral. Just calling them does not mean that they will automatically open a new case. The information must meet their standards for a case to be opened.

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    Agree that you should call. CPS has lots of cases that are inactive, but a new call will cause the case to be looked at again. Mention the animal abuse, as there's a strong correlation between that and other forms. Who knows, the abuser may already be in their system.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  12. #12
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    No, my mom was told by someone else about the shiner. The bruise was seen quite some time ago. I have met this woman a few times only and have never met her husband, her dogs or her children. Do people think this is enough to go on? I don't even know her last name but could find out.

    I do know someone who lives nearby and may be able to keep an eye on things.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    This behavior in itself while horrid (the thing is barely 0.5 lbs in weight) is not in itself overt abuse.
    Wow. Are you fecking serious with that statement? If you don't feel that "choking it so it gasps for breath" and whacking it with a towel as means to try to teach it to behave are abusive actions, then you are as bad as the person doing it. It sure as hell is not proper discipline.

    There's really not much that you can do, since you say you have only "heard" about this scenario. If you haven't actually witnessed this woman's behavior, any reporting you try to do is only hear-say, and thus has little to no credibility. The people who need to do the reporting are the ones who have actually seen this women in action, because they can give a description of the actual behavior.

    And to those who say you should kidnap the dog in order to save it, that would open you up to a theft charge, since in a legal sense pets are considered to be property.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 01-29-2011 at 07:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    This is not in San Francisco, rather in the East Bay.
    Alameda and Contra Costa Counties have agencies that handle these issues, as do several cities there. If this is an unincorporated area, or the city in question doesn't have its own animal control and child welfare agencies, start at the county level. You might also contact the East Bay SPCA about the dog. (And feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions.)

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    I would call both CPS and local ASPCA.

    Just a history note, most people don't know the history of some of the laws about Child Abuse and it's connection to animal abuse regualtions

    In the early 1870s, child abuse captured the nation's attention with news that an eight-year-old orphan named Mary Ellen Wilson was suffering daily whippings and beatings at her foster home. With no organization in existence to protect abused children, the orphan's plight fell to attorneys for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). These attorneys argued that laws protecting animals from abuse should not be greater than laws protecting children. Mary Ellen Wilson's case went before a judge, who convicted the foster mother of ASSAULT AND BATTERY and gave her a one year sentence. More significantly, the orphan's case generated enough outrage over child abuse that in 1874, citizens formed the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
    or that it took so long to have mandatory reporting laws
    Child abuse captured the country's attention again in 1962, when an article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association described symptoms of child abuse and deemed child abuse to be medically diagnosable. Within ten years, every state had statutes known as mandatory reporting laws.
    my history lesson for the day. But definitely report the suspected abuse to both agencies.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    Wow. Are you fecking serious with that statement? If you don't feel that "choking it so it gasps for breath" and whacking it with a towel as means to try to teach it to behave are abusive actions, then you are as bad as the person doing it. It sure as hell is not proper discipline.
    I am fecking serious with that statement. What I mean is that kind of abuse does not leave visible marks. It's not anything I could show a police officer or an animal services representative.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    There's really not much that you can do, since you say you have only "heard" about this scenario. If you haven't actually witnessed this woman's behavior, any reporting you try to do is only hear-say, and thus has little to no credibility. The people who need to do the reporting are the ones who have actually seen this women in action, because they can give a description of the actual behavior.
    This is the source of my hesitation. What am I going to say, I've heard this and this from this person who has heard it from yet another person? Hence my dilemma.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    And to those who say you should kidnap the dog in order to save it, that would open you up to a theft charge, since in a legal sense pets are considered to be property.
    Yes, but in many such cases the abuser is not very likely to pursue legal action because they do not want their treatment of the animal to be brought up in court.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Call 800-4-A-CHILD and they'll tell you where to report the child abuse in your area. When you make the anonymous CPS report, mention the dog abuse as well. CPS will find that relevant and may tell you where to report that. Don't tell CPS that you "heard from someone else" that this stuff is happening. Just say it's happening.
    Last edited by heckles; 01-29-2011 at 10:43 PM.

  19. #19
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    If you can do something like what heckles suggests, report it. Don't worry about the dog at this point as that's unlikely to be acted on without visible injury to the dog or a public incident, but if you can report the potential child abuse, mentioning that she's been seen choking her small dog as discipline can't hurt, might help.

    The towel is unlikely to hurt it, unless she's rat-tailing him (wet towel twisted up, which might as well be a wooden club with a teacup Yorkie) but the choking is a bizarre form of "discipline" that suggests she's not all there. And if she disciplines the DOG by choking, what does she do to the kid?

    Without an eyewitness and unless CPS catches her in the act or sees bruises on the kid, it might not instantly solve the problem, but absolutely at least get a paper trail going so when she IS caught, she can't say "No one ever said anything before!"

  20. #20

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    I called Social Services when a neighbor's toddler kept getting out into the street because she was able to open the front door on her own -- parents did not want to put a higher door lock on "because it would damage the door." I don't know exactly what Social Services did, but the child didn't get out any more. I've never regretted making the call.

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