Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chester County: Tails of Cruelty

By: Danielle Lynch

Dec 15, 2009: Legislators weigh in on animal cruelty

Some animals in Chester County, similar to other areas of the country, are victims of abuse.

Animal cruelty includes dogfighting, neglect, starvation, hoarding and beatings.Despite a lack of national statistics on animal abuse, Phil Arkow, a consultant for the American Humane Association, said he's noticed more awareness of the issue..." More

Dec 13, 2009: Fighting * neglecting * hoarding * beating * starving

Chester County, like every corner of this country, has its share of animal cruelty cases, including dogfighting, neglect, starvation, hoarding and beatings.

"I don't know if (animal cruelty) is on the rise because there is no national tracking of statistics," said Phil Arkow, a consultant to American Humane Association, a national federation for animal and child protection. "But I do know there is much better awareness out there."

Many animal protection agencies and activists turn to online statistics compiled by Pet-Abuse.com.

"Statistically, nobody is really keeping track," said Alison Gianotto, president and founder of Pet-Abuse.com.

Gianotto, of Southfields, N.Y., began tracking the data in 2001 after someone stole her neighbor's cat, Bert, and set him on fire. This act of cruelty occurred in Del Mar, Calif., where Gianotto once lived.

"I started looking online and couldn't find a lot of resources and a whole lot of statistical information that was organized in way that could be helpful," she said..." More

Dec 11, 2009: Tails of Cruelty (II)

During the past two months, I've worked on a countywide series about the multifaceted issue of animal cruelty in Chester County. The focus has been on local cruelty cases and the agencies and individuals who help animals recover from abusive situations.

Suzette Nicolini, a dog trainer and behavior counselor, discussed tips for people who are interested in adopting an animal that was formerly abused. Two of Nicolini's dogs were victims of abuse. Her pit bull-corso mix named Scarlett was being used as a bait dog. Her Neapolitan mastiff named Si-Si was starved by a former owner.

The series includes an update about Emma and Luna, the dogs that were shot to death execution-style and placed tail-to-tail by railroad tracks in late October. The reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction is now $25,000.

An article about Michael Vick, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles who served time in federal prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation on his property in Virginia, will be included in the series. I talked to Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, about his visit with Vick in federal prison. I also talked to Ann Allums, a dog trainer at the Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, who has been taking care of about 20 of Vick's former dogs..." More

Dec 10, 2009: Tails of Cruelty

Beginning Sunday, the Daily Local News will run a three-part series about the multifaceted issue of animal cruelty. Award-winning Daily Local News reporter Danielle Lynch wrote the series, "Tails of Cruelty," after investigating and researching the topic for two months.

The series includes articles about animal cruelty laws and the known link between abuse to pets and humans. A local dog trainer provides tips to people interested in adopting an animal that was formerly a victim of abuse..." More