Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interview with Office Warren

When a person sees a dog running around the street with no leash, collar, or owner, one thing they might do is call animal control. The Aurora Animal Shelter takes in about 6-10 animals a day throughout the city and it can be surprising the types of abuse they usually encounter and the feeble punishment people receive.

Officer Warren, who works for Aurora Animal Shelter said, “A majority of the cases we receive are animals running about, but we do get cases with animal cruelty.”

Once an officer obtains the animal, the animal is taken to a local shelter and usually adopted out. There are various different shelters throughout Colorado. Some shelters are specifically “no-kill” shelters, which means that in case the animal is not adopted out, they will not be euthanized.

Aurora Animal Shelter has dealt with animal cruelty in a wide variety of instances. Office Warren said that a majority of animal cruelty cases involves an animal being malnourished, neglected, and having no food or water.

He went on to state that there situations where a person will handle a dog the wrong way; for instance, they will grab the back legs and end up breaking one of the legs. Sometimes there are cases that involve an animal being poisoned or shot with a pellet gun. Unfortunately, Officer Warren said that usually these cases are not solved because they do not find a suspect.

In regards to dog fighting, Officer Warren said that there have been no reports on dog fighting, but in Adams County a couple of years ago there was a cock fighting institution where they rescued 98 birds.

When people think of dogfights, Pit Bulls are usually associated. Since Aurora Animal Shelter is located in a city where the Pit Bull Ban is enforced, they do deal with this issue. Officer Warren said that they refer to it as the “Restricted Breed Ban,” and there are 11 breeds on the ban.

Usually, a person will report a dog that they believe to be on the list and the officers will go out and inspect the breed. If the breed is on the list, the dog will be taken to a shelter and housed until the case appears in front of a judge. The judge will determine if the breed is allowed back in the city. If it is not, the dog will either be adopted out in another city or euthanized.

Finally, a question that arises when dealing with all these forms of animal cruelty is what happens to the people? Are they punished? Officer Warren said that since a majority of the cases involve state cruelty (mistreatment, neglect, humane care) the people are issued a ticket. They then must appear in front of a judge and Aurora Animal Shelter will testify if the animal was mistreated. The end result is usually the person pays a fine while the animal endures torment, neglect, and helplessness.

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