Allie, a 4 year-old Boston Terrier, suffered at the hands of her human caretakers. They left scars on her face, ears and legs. The horrific circumstances that she suffered through had been recognized as a situation of abuse by a veterinarian in the past, yet no authority was notified. Until she was rescued from her abusers no one spoke for her.Violence against animals does not stop with the animal’s mistreatment. Research has found that there is a correlation between animal abuse and abuse among humans, including child and domestic violence. The links between these different forms of abuse can only be described as a cycle of cruel behavior called the Toxic Triad.
The cycle must end. Animal abuse is a warning sign that a home is not safe. There is an absolute urgency to stop acts of cruelty towards animals and take measures against this violent trait.
Ask the State of Florida to pass Allie’s Law, a general Animal Cruelty statute that makes it mandatory for any veterinary professional to report visible signs of animal cruelty to law enforcement or animal control.
The current legislation does NOT require a veterinarian to file a report with local law enforcement or animal control when they see clear signs of animal mistreatment. Allie’s Law would change that.
The second part of the bill would declare it a criminal act for a veterinary professional to intentionally alter or change the medical records of an animal to hide the abuse. Allie’s rescue story speaks to the importance of including this provision.
After being in labor for 24 hours with her third litter of puppies before the age of three, Allie’s owner dropped his abused dog off at the hospital with no money to pay for a C-section. Allie was surrendered to the animal hospital where she had six puppies.
There were no notes in the medical record of the puppies she birthed and the timeline of the procedures seem to be tampered with. According to an office manager, it was later discovered that the abusive breeder had demanded he/she take the puppies when she had them, leaving Allie behind to be sold off for a $400.00 bounty on Craigslist under the hospital’s account.
Why is the law important?
When Allie was rescued by the Boston Terrier Rescue of Florida she showed obvious signs of abuse. The vet tech that was at the animal hospital when she had her C-section said that the owner would throw food in the center of the floor at home and the 6 other Boston Terriers would fight to consume it. This partially accounted for the visible scars that covered her body.
In Allie’s case, the veterinarian could have saved an additional six puppies by submitting a report. The abuse that occurred at the breeder’s house could have been investigated and any further abuse blocked by THIS law. Allie’s Law would have assured she was the last victim.
Our four legged friends have no voice. It is up to us humans to speak out for those that can not speak for themselves and for those four legged friends that can not stand up for themselves.
Currently in Florida a member of the veterinary community is under no legal obligation to report animal abuse to the local authorities. Allie’s Law seeks to change that.
Statistically, animal abuse cases turn in to other cases of abuse, such as child abuse and domestic violence abuse. In fact, it is reported that 88% of all pets living in domestic violence homes, are either abused or killed.
If veterinarians were made to report animal abuse, like a human doctor is required to report signs of child abuse or domestic violence abuse, we could reduce the incidence of the toxic triad.