By Janet Medcalf
What is cruelty to animals? In the State of Tennessee, cruelty to animals in short, is defined as knowingly or intentionally torturing, maiming or grossly overworking an animal, failing unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in a person's custody, abandoning unreasonably an animal in a person's custody, transporting or confining an animal in a cruel manner, inflicting injuries or pain to an animal, animal fighting, knowingly tethering or restraining a dog in a manner that results in the dog suffering bodily injury.
That leaves us with the question of what to do if you suspect animal cruelty. If the animal(s) in question are in Greene County, you should go to the Greeneville Greene County Humane Society to file a report. Your name will be kept confidential. Once you file a report it is faxed to the appropriate authorities. If the report is regarding companion animals, it is sent to the Humane Society's Cruelty Officer for investigation. If it is in regard to livestock, it is faxed to the Department of Agriculture for investigation. Most complaints are checked into within 24 hours of the report being filed. Complaints cannot be taken over the phone, you must file the report in person. There are times when people have complained about having to come to the GGCHS to file a report, but if you really care about the condition of an animal, it is worth this small bit of inconvenience.
After a thorough investigation, the GGCHS Cruelty Officer, an Officer from Greene County Animal Control or the Dept of Agriculture Extension Agent will determine whether there is reasonable belief that cruelty against an animal has been committed. More often than not, when a complaint is looked into, there is no animal cruelty found, but if cruelty to an animal is discovered, it will be handled. Sometimes corrective measures must be taken by the animal owner and a follow up visit is made by our Cruelty Officer to ensure this has taken place. In other instances, a warrant is issued and the situation is handled in the Court of Law.
When an animal is seized by the Greeneville Greene County Humane Society, it is first examined by our Staff Veterinarian or an outside Veterinarian. Medical attention is given, photos are taken and reports are written. During the investigation, all aspects of it are kept confidential and cannot be discussed with anyone, not even with the person that initially reported it. This can be frustrating, because a person may think it's been swept under the rug and forgotten, but this is not the case. Each and every report is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Some cases are taken before a Judge, in other cases, a plea deal is reached. Once an animal is signed over to the Humane Society, whether it is by a Judge or by the animal owner, the animal is put up for adoption.
Recent cruelty cases brought Jake, the Husky-Pit Bull mix and Curly, the Cocker Spaniel to the Humane Society. Both have lived a difficult life, but now we are happy to announce that Curly has found a “furever home” and Jake is patiently waiting for a loving home and a real family to call his own. Both of these dogs are very loving and friendly and have wanted nothing more than to be petted and loved. Would you like to be the one to show Jake what a happy life with no worries feels like? If so, then please come to the Humane Society's Adoption Center and visit him.
Animals have no voice when it comes to animal cruelty, but YOU do have a voice! We ask that anyone who suspects animal cruelty come to the Greeneville Greene County Humane Society and file a report as soon as possible.
The Greeneville Greene County Humane Society invites everyone to visit our adoption center located at 950 Hal Henard Road to volunteer or see our adoptable animals. Our hours are Monday through Friday 11-5 and Saturdays 11-4. You can view our adoptable animals online on our Facebook page, Friends of Greeneville-Greene County TN Humane Society or on our website at gchumanesociety.com