Animal Abuse Training For Oklahoma Law Enforcement
PRYOR, Oklahoma - The Humane Society says dog fighting and cockfighting are the biggest problems in the fight to end animal abuse in Oklahoma.
So, to fight the problem, they're now holding seminars to teach people how to stop the abuse.
Animal abuse and neglect happen in every state across the country, and it's something law enforcement encounters all the time.
“Covered in feces, animals in crates and cages with no way to get out, no way to go to the restroom anywhere other than in their shelter; kind of a disgusting situation," said Tulsa police sergeant, Bryan Bryden.
He is just one of the officers learning about the different signs of animal abuse and how to react.
In Oklahoma, the Humane Society says a lot of abuse comes from puppy mills, dog fighting rings and cockfighting - something these seminars hope to combat.
"A lot of times law enforcement are coming up to us and saying, ‘I saw this before, I didn't recognize it,’ or ‘I'm going to go back to a property now and see this.’ It's something that's not animal cruelty, and fighting is typically not something covered in the police academy," said Janette Reever, with the Humane Society.
Some of the skills include how to respond to an animal that's been abused, what to look for on the animal and how to take a detailed report.
Bryden said, "Knowing more about it, knowing what to look for and seeing, looking at a case where we may be there for a drug related offense or some other type of crime, where we can say ‘hey, maybe there's something more that we can look into with the animals.’"
With more than 140 agents from across eastern Oklahoma, the Humane Society says they are confident these seminars will make a difference.
Because Humane Society wants law enforcement to crack down on these issues they've given every officer attending a packet of information. It includes what type of evidence needs to be collected and how to make a report.