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    What if I see someone abusing an animal?

    Date: 09.06.07 | by Judge Tom.



    Photo by AAWLSPCA

    Most states have laws requiring the safe and humane treatment of animals. These laws include pets that have been brought to school, so don′t forget about them when school is out or during weekends and vacations. The only exception to these protection laws is the lawful hunting of game in season, when the hunter is properly licensed. Make sure you′re trained in your sport. 



    • Hitting a police horse in Minnesota is punishable by 2 years in jail or a $4,000 fine.
    • Dognapping and catnapping are illegal in Wisconsin.
    • In Vermont, dyeing or coloring baby chicks is against the law.

    Studies have shown that animal abuse is a symptom of a deeply disturbed person. Findings support a relationship between child abuse, animal abuse, and domestic violence. Research in this area continues, while efforts are underway to cross-train child welfare and animal welfare professionals.

    A person found guilty of animal abuse may be sent to jail or heavily fined. If you see someone abusing an animal, tell a responsible adult what happened. You can also report the incident to the police or your local humane society.

    In many states, animal cruelty laws prohibit dog fighting and cockfights. Some states are extending their laws to include all animals from training and competitions designed to hurt the animals. In 2009, Arizona banned the so-called sport of horse-tripping – where the legs of a galloping horse are roped to cause it to fall. It now carries a year in jail if caught.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    1 Comment subscribe to these comments.

    • Sandra Thrash
      Wed, 26 Jan 2011 at 02:22

      I’m trying to help a friend shut down an animal hoarder. This hoarder has 30+ dogs all in cages and lying in their own wastes!! Plus she has 6-8 horses in badly need of food and foot grooming. Kim says the horses are walking on their heels cuz their hooves are curling up! The dogs are in cages…3-5 dogs in a cage!! No shelter around these cages. So, I’m sure they are pretty cold when it snows. (And hot in the summer time!) My question…can I post the offender’s name and location on Facebook? We are going to try to get some public outcry sent to the sheriff of this particular county. So far, he has done nothing.
      Dear Sandra: AsktheJudge is an educational website for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. As such, we don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. We commend your empathy for these animals and suggest you contact the animal welfare league or PETA for advice about how to proceed. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you violate someone’s privacy and expose them to public ridicule that may result in a lawsuit. Get some expert legal advice before you put this on Facebook. Good luck.
      [This is information only – not legal advice].