TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Police officers are doing what they can to familiarize themselves with the signs of animal cruelty.
Two cases of animal cruelty in the Toledo area recently that have gotten a lot of attention; the 3-month-old puppy who was allegedly kicked to death and a pitbull mix who's owners deprived the dog of necessary food, water and vet treatment.
This training is an effort to be able to prevent cases like these.
Thursday night, Toledo Area Humane Society President and CEO Stephen Heaven trained Toledo Police officers on how to spot the signs to know when an animal is in trouble.
This is a part of the 2018 in service training for the officers. He's doing a total of 20 sessions with the department.
"The goal is to raise awareness of the state statute ORC 959 (animal cruelty law) and better identify cruelty situations they may come across during the normal course of their duties, especially when they are in domestic abuse situations," said Heaven.
In return, Toledo Police officers are committed to helping their cruelty investigators providing backup in possibly unsafe situations.
"We are now working very closely with the TPD Community Service Department, where Sgt. Cashen has provided invaluable support to our investigators, providing back-up when they are in some of the less safe areas in Toledo, assisting with search warrants and even helping us by taking cruelty calls during extreme weather conditions, when we get inundated," said Heaven.
Heaven said he doesn't think cruelty cases are on the rise in the area, but believes they are doing a better job reporting them.
Toledo Police officers said they are glad to learn more about this heart-wrenching topic.
"It's just about sharing knowledge, and sharing their expertise and having increased dialogue and just partnering with the area humane society," said Lieutenant Kevan Toney, the Toledo Police Spokesperson.
By the time the training is done, every Toledo Police officer will be trained on the topic.