Humane Societies are not just shelters for abandoned animals. They help the animal welfare cause in so many other ways as well. From supporting legislation dealing with animal rights to finding forever homes for dogs, cats, rabbits, and any other pet that may come through their door, Humane Societies around the United States are focused on helping animals in any way they can.
The Peninsula Humane Society, located in Burlingame, California, is moving ahead with its claims that a dog sitter in Burlingame abused one of the animals in her care. The allegations came after a video was released last month showing the woman manhandling the dog that she was supposed to be caring for while his owners were away. Animal welfare officials asked for the public’s help in identifying the dog, and his owners came forward.
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A neighbor of the dog sitting business shot the video, which shows the small dog being jerked around by the neck and being slammed into the ground. It also shows the woman slapping the dog repeatedly. According to the Peninsula Humane Society, the owners do not wish to speak with the media at this time, but they do want anyone who is concerned about the dog to know that he is doing well.
Death threats have been made, both on the internet and in person, to the dog sitter, and the dog’s owners were very disappointed to hear about it. They are urging members of the public to stop making these kinds of heinous threats. A spokeswoman for the Humane Society, Christina Handley, said that although it appears the dog did not suffer any lasting injuries, the organization will still be submitting the case to the district attorney’s office.
She says that animal cruelty can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor; the charge will depend on the severity of the crime. Because the dog was not seriously injured, this particular case will probably only be charged as a misdemeanor, but that’s completely up to the DA. Investigators from the humane society seized 11 dogs from the pet sitter’s home after receiving the video, as they feared for the safety of the animals.
The dog sitter’s attorney says that his client is denying any abuse to the dog, and he is saying she did not break the law in any way. The attorney says she was simply disciplining the dog for exhibiting bad habits. I don’t know what kind of training method she’s using, but she clearly needs some training of her own. Negative reinforcement usually doesn’t do anything but instill fear in an animal, and jerking a dog around, slamming him into the ground, and slapping him numerous times is definitely too extreme be labeled as anything but animal abuse.
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The Peninsula Humane Society is a private, independent, non-profit, and their scope of services goes beyond that of any traditional no-kill facility. PHS is an open-door shelter, meaning they accept all animals brought to them, regardless of breed, size or age. They’ve rehomed 100% of the healthy dogs and cats in their care since 2003.
Staff at PHS rehabilitates wildlife, educates children in the community and investigates animal cruelty. The shelter also makes spay and neuter procedures free for low or fixed-income residents in their area. They are one of the few shelters in the entire state of California that are accredited by the American Animal Hospital association. PHS is also a gold-level GuideStar Exchange participant.