AR-News: (AZ) Animal abuse locally results from neglect
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Sun Nov 2 12:04:51 EST 2003
Animal abuse locally results from neglect
By MIRSADA BURIC-ADAM
The Daily Courier
PRESCOTT – Animal abuse and neglect exist in Yavapai County and the tri-city
area, but the number of cases and severity are not, by any means, alarming,
according to the county’s animal control officer, Sgt. Laura Dean of the Sheriff’
Dean said that she hasn’t noticed a significant increase in the number of
animal abuse and neglect incidents in the county, although “we see animal neglect
and animal cruelty a lot. There are more people moving in with more animals.
A lot of the cases that we see are just benign neglect. We respond to all of
Yavapai Humane Society’s kennel supervisor, Roxanne Krueger, plays with
Tripod, a three-legged dog at the shelter. Veterinarians removed the dog’s mangled
limb after a vehicle struck the animal. Tripod is avail-able for adoption at
Courier/Jo. L. Keener
“People do not take care of issues,” she added. “They do not know how to
feed properly or they do not get proper vet care (for their animals). But no one
case stands out in my mind as being appalling.”
If People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) receives information
that applies to the unincorporated areas of Yavapai County, YCSO Animal Control
checks those cases, Dean said.
“We work with all these agencies because we have animal welfare at heart,”
she said. “A lot of people are not educated in caring for animals. That is a
part of our job too, to help educate them in how to do things so that they do a
Her seven-member crew covers 8,000-plus square miles, she said.
“We are on the go a lot because the calls are very spread out in a lot of
remote areas,” she said. “But we respond to all of these areas.”
She said if her staff finds that a livestock animal has been severely
neglected or abused, they remove the animal from the property and then refer it to
the livestock section of the Arizona Department of Agriculture because “we do
not have a facility where we can take them and we do not have the trailers to
Rea Chornenky, legislative liaison for the Arizona Department of Agriculture,
said her agency has received calls that allege serious abuse of horses.
“We have received calls in the last year from the Yavapai County area that
allege severe animal abuse issues in terms of horses,” she said. “Our records
and our logs do not keep them according to what is proven and what is just
“Generally, the calls are that a horse appears to be in poor condition due to
cruelty or neglect, but not due to physical abuse,” she said.
She said the agency receives 10 to 15 calls per month from the Yavapai County
“That is a bit lower than other counties,” she said, adding that those
numbers refer only to average calls for 2003. “I suspect that the number of calls
per month on Yavapai County animals is increasing simply because your
population is growing. When residents increase in previously outlying areas, new home
owners – people who are not familiar with the area – make a lot more calls.”
One complaint that occurs very frequently during summer months is that horses
are standing in the sun without any shade available to them, she said.
She said they rarely receive any calls regarding other domestic animals such
as sheep, goats, pigs or cows.
Larry Davis, Prescott animal control supervisor, said they rarely come across
tortured or severely abused animals. He said the only severe animal cruelty
case that he can remember in the past nine years involved a man, Robert James
Lunt, who tortured his girlfriend’s dogs. Lunt pleaded guilty to two Class 6
felonies of cruelty to animals in July.
Davis said his officers mainly pick up stray dogs.
“They are considered stray if they do not have any ID on them,” he said. “
And most of the times owners do come to collect them.
“There are no regulations for cats,” he said. “We do not pick up stray cats
unless they appear to be injured or sick or if they bite somebody.”
He said currently a fairly low number of dogs is at their shelter. “We could
be as high as 40 to 50 dogs in here,” he said. “Right now we have about 20.”
Occasionally, the Humane Society does take stray animals into its shelter,
“But we do not trade animals back and forth,” he said.
He said Prescott residents are allowed to have livestock within the city
limits if they follow regulations that the city established many years ago.
“There are a few people that have horses,” he said, but noted that they
usually take good care of them.
Humane Society Director Deborah Donovan said animal cruelty does exist in
“We do get calls, but animal control does the investigation,” she said. “So
we do not get to see a lot of it.”
Leaving pets locked in cars or tying them to a tree without food or water
during hot or freezing weather are forms of abuse that are common, she said.
She said that 50 percent of their cats are strays or abandoned.
“All stray dogs go next door to Animal Control,” she said. “But we are
seeing an increase in the surrender of owned animals.”
The increase has been about 5 percent, she said. People are giving up their
animals because they can’t afford to feed them, she said.
However, the agency has not seen a substantial increase in abandoned animals.
“Over the last 12 months we have taken in about 1,200 stray or abandoned cats,
” she said. “That is about the same that we took in last year.”
She said their shelter is currently full and that they have a list of people
who are waiting to give up their pets.
“We just want to wait until something is adopted before we bring another one
in,” she said. “That way we do not have to euthanize healthy adoptable
animals to make room for someone else’s.”
She said a couple of people on the list have litters of 11 puppies.
“That is another issue – educating people on spaying and neutering their
pets,” she said.
Robin Petrovski, Prescott Valley Police Animal Control officer, said they
rarely deal with severely abused animals.
“Generally, it is just a welfare check for water and shelter,” she said. “In
14 years I have found three cases of dogs real thin. I’m sure there are some
out there that we are not even aware of, but nothing that I have been involved
in or dealt with.”
David Kuns, assistant police chief in Chino Valley, said he has not noticed
any significant changes in their numbers of animal abuse or severe cases of
“There has not been any increase that I know of,” he said. “If we believe
that there is an animal abuse case, we take the animal to one of the
veterinarians out here. If they determine that it is (a case of abuse), then we would go
and cite the owner.”
Contact the reporter at
mburicadam at prescottaz.com
It can truly be said: Men are the devils of the earth, and the animals are
the tormented souls. --Arthur Schopenhauer
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