PHOENIX — April is National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and sadly the Valley is no stranger to animal cruelty.
The Arizona Humane Society sees about 6,900 cruelty cases a year and they just rescued nine dogs in the past week from abusive situations.
Chowder, a golden retriever mix, is like most 14-week-old pups; he likes to play and loves attention. As happy as he looks playing in his pen, Chowder's unable to put any weight on his right hind leg.
“Chowder’s leg is broken internally,” said Tracey Miiller, director of field operations with the Arizona Humane Society.
A witness to the abuse called the Tempe Police Department and Chowder was taken away. His owner was arrested two days later.
“The owner knew what he was doing and did it intentionally and caused the injury. So, he’s going to be charged with a Class 5 felony,” said Miiller.
The charge against the owner could lead to up to three years in prison. Miiller's on the front lines for the Arizona Humane Society and said most of their calls are for high cruelty cases.
In the past week, they’ve taken in eight other dogs from abuse cases.
Clyde is waiting for his future forever home at the AHS South Mountain campus. His owner was arrested and charged with one count of animal abuse.
“The owner was abusive physically with Clyde as well. Causing broken ribs,” said Miiller.
Then there are Zoe and Buddy, two basset hound parents, who were rescued from an apartment along with their litter of puppies, thanks to the Surprise Police Department.
“The owner had zip-tied the snout of the mama basset hound so she would stay quiet inside the apartment. She was also severely emaciated. She wasn’t getting the right amount of food and nutrition for a mama dog that was nursing puppies,” said Miiller.
Three separate cases of abuse from across the Valley in just one week.
Miiller said anyone who witnesses abuse should call the local police or the Arizona Humane Society.
“Even though it’s your pet and your property, you can’t treat it like a lamp or a TV and cause whatever damage you think is appropriate. It’s a living creature. There are laws against animal cruelty and abuse,” said Miiller.
The good news is that in all of these cases each pet is getting a second chance at a better and safer life – including Chowder.
Veterinarians are waiting to see if Chowder’s leg will heal properly – hopefully he can avoid amputation. Once he’s healthy again, he’ll be available for adoption.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.