By: Charlene Cristobal
May 28, 2014
Georgia law enforcement received training in preventing animal cruelty and fighting on Wednesday. The training was held in Thomasville by the Humane Society of the United States.
In a video shown during the seminar, an older woman was selling puppies at a flea market. While the "puppy in the window" looked happy, behind the scenes that puppy and others were staying in inhumane conditions including living in cages with piles of feces and roaches in their food and water.
Thomasville and Thomas County Humane Society Executive Director, Ed Williams says, "Animal cruelty is not something that typical law enforcement agencies might deal with. You know, they're dealing with drug dealers and criminals, and that sort of thing. But they're not routinely going out and investigating animal cruelty cases. So, it's important that they get this training."
The training went through various scenarios of what police and other enforcement agencies should look for when investigating an animal cruelty case. Situations like puppy mills, finding a dog in a car with the windows rolled up, seeing a downed horse and even how to stop a dog fighting operation.
Derrick Lawrence of Cherokee County Animal Enforcement says, "There's an increase in animal cruelty. A lot of puppy mills and things of that nature. They're supplementing their income. The economy hasn't been that great, so they're trying to figure out some way to generate some type of income."
According to the Humane Society, there are around 15,000 puppy mills and over 40,000 people participating in dog fighting in the United States.
Investigator Eric Hill of Moultrie says, "Because we're seeing more of it, more stuff going on in our cities and we're trying to get more information out there and possibly know more information about how to prosecute those types of incidences that we see out there."