GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The recent conviction of a Pitt County woman for animal abuse has brought awareness to possible preventative measures.
So how do you know when an animal is actually being abused?
Director of the Pitt County Animal Shelter Michele Whaley says it’s not always easy.
“Unfortunately the laws aren’t very specific as far as what animals do have to have,” said Whaley. “There’s some basics, they do have a fresh supply of clean water at all times. Food can be a little subjective.”
Whaley said there are other issues that cause people to hesitate to call.
“I just think it’s fear of either retribution or retaliation, you know for making that complaint,” said Whaley.
Officer Tim Langley is the Supervisor of Animal Protective Services and said ensuring caller privacy can be key to solid leads.
Langley said, “When they call in, we don’t want their telephone number or their name, we want to help the animal that they’re calling in on.”
Officer Langley said following your gut is an important first step.
“I believe sometimes citizens take the assumption that somebody is going to call or somebody and by the time we receive the information and we do go out it is too late for some animals,” said Langley
Whaley says when making a call the more information the better
“A lot of times they don’t give an address. We really need a specific address, said Whaley. “So a lot of people will say ‘Well I’m in between here and there’ or ‘I’m driving down the highway.’ It’s not really helpful to us.”
Both Whaley and Officer Langley say taking the first step to pick up the phone and make a call could make all the difference for an animal in need.
If you would like to report a possible case of animal abuse you may call any of the numbers anonymously below:
Department of Justice Animal Welfare Hotline toll-free: 1-855-290-6915
Greenville Animal Services: (252) 329-4387
Pitt County Animal Services: (252) 902-1725