What to do if you see an animal suffering from neglect

What to do if you see an animal suffering from neglect

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - On Thursday, a dog that froze to death in Toledo because its owners did not have the ability to care for it. The question now is: How do residents keep this from happening again?

Megan Brown is a humane agent for the Toledo Area Humane Society, who gets calls in from concerned citizens about animals that need help. She responded to Thursday's horrific scene.

Fortunately, another dog was retrieved from that home and taken for shelter.

Typically, she responds to around 20-25 calls per day. In cold weather, that number increases.

"We try and hit them all if we can, and if not all of them then the most important," Brown explained. "So on a day like today we prioritize all the cold weather calls. Anything, you know, reported abandoned, out in the freezing cold, tethered, no shelter."

Brown says there was a case where there were a number of cats living on a porch.

One appeared to be ill, so she took that one back to the humane society for care  She left information in case the owner does come back and worry about the missing pet.

Brown says she will return for the other cats left outside in the bitter cold.

"While we're, you know, going from call to call we'll patrol a little bit. Obviously we always have our eye out for something," Brown said. "If we happen to see it, we definitely stop to take care of it, but most of it's responding to calls."

In this case, Brown posted a notice on the door of a seemingly abandoned house yesterday to call her within 24 hours, where there was a dog inside.

The owner did not call. Her next step was to go to the court house to get a search warrant.

Police then met her at the residence to gain access to the house and make sure everything was safe. At that point the owner did show up and take responsibility for the dog.

So what can you do if you suspect trouble with an animal?

"If you're concerned about a neighbor's dog or a neighbor's cat or, you know, any animal really, for that matter, just call," Brown said. "I mean, even if you're not sure, it's just better to call and be, you know, safe than sorry."

If it is an issue of neglect or cruelty, call the Humane Society. If aggression or strays are the problem, call the police and ask for the dog warden.

Do not do both as calling both places will result in a waste of time and resources that could go to another animal in need.

If you have an animal that you are not able to care for yourself, the humane society will arrange to come and get it from you by calling (419) 891-0705.

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