Animal cruelty cases reported in Ross County
Humane Society shelter offers protection
Not until Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was charged with cruelty to dogs did the issue of animal cruelty gain so much attention.
"My cat was injured and had a BB pellet stuck inside of it, and last year another cat in my neighborhood lost one of its eyes because it was shot with a BB gun," said Debra McComis, of Cooks Hill Road.
"Really, there should be a stiffer punishment for people who severely hurt animals," said Kellough.
"A lot of the cases are the owners neglecting proper care of the animals," said Kellough. "What we do is send them a notice letting them know 'hey you need to be caring for your animal and providing for it'."
Kellough explained a lot of owners in the Ross County area abide by the guidelines within the notice and the case is over.
"We sometimes go and check on the situation of the animal and make sure everything is going OK," said Kellough.
However, veterinarian Dr. James Peters points out unless you actually see an animal get abused its really hard to prove a case.
"If someone is abusing an animal, it's unlikely they will bring the animals to us, because they think we will report them," Peters said. "Animal abuse is just one of those things that is really difficult to prove unless you are catching the person doing it."
Kellough said this area has a high number of dogs that are abused compared to other animals. One or two cases will go to trial every one to two years years, she said.
Last year, the Humane Society took in 1,000 cats to provide shelter for them and try to find them a home.
"Our hands are tied," Kellough said. "It's hard to find a home for every single cat in the area. Really, the best solution would be to have the animals spayed or neutered."
Currently, there are no laws that require pet owners to have an animal spayed or neutered. It's hard to get laws passed regarding animals because there are a lot of restrictions that are out there, Kellough said.
"I always tell people that, at some point and time, these animals all had owners who loved and cared for them," Kellough said. "Our No. 1 mission is to protect these animals from harm."