Rash of Animal Abuse Cases - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Rash of Animal Abuse Cases

By Al Pefley  email

West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX)

A disturbing trend. And local authorities say they haven't seen anything like it in recent memory.

A rash of animal abuse cases in Palm Beach County this summer.  Animal Care and Control says they're not really sure what's behind this. But one thing they do know. Somehow, it's got to stop.

They showed us  Bo, a pit bull mix puppy. Investigators seized this dog and arrested the owner who they say had hit Bo repeatedly with a pipe.

And then there's a female rottweiler, found in a cage barely able to stand or walk, soaked in urine, and she had four  puppies dead inside of her. The owner was busted on nearly two-dozen charges of animal cruelty.

And there's another  case Animal Care and Control says horrifies them. A bulldog whose owner packed up and moved out, leaving the bulldog behind for three weeks without food or water. The dog was found emaciated and dehydrated. 

"Over the last few months, this agency has seen a dramatic rise in cases," said Dianne Sauve, director of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

"We've got people involved in domestic violence that are beating the animal or stabbing the animal. We've got people that are just mad and hurting an animal, hitting it with pipes, throwing it against a wall," said Capt. David Walesky with Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

At least six people have been charged  since May in what authorities call a rash of intentional animal abuse cases in Palm Beach County.   Actually, there have been at least eight cases, including the six people who have been charged, plus a 12 year old boy and another adult yet to be charged.   Officials say they've never seen so many cases in such a short time.

"Hardly a week goes by that we're not getting a case that we consider horrific," Sauve said. 

She says the tough economy appears to be one of the reasons for the rash of animal abuse.

"It's definitely rough out there with the economy. People are stressed out, we are aware of that. But they need to calm down and not take out their anger on animals," Capt. Walesky said. 

"It's really disturbing to those of us who work in this field," Sauve said. 

Authorities say as the economy declines, domestic violence increases and sometimes, pets wind up being the innocent victims of that.

They say if you're the victim of domestic violence, you should try to get some help,  not only for your sake but also for the sake of your animal.

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