It’s not a soft subject, but it happens more frequently than we’d all like to acknowledge: animal abuse. Animal abuse doesn’t single out any specific animal, and it doesn’t come down to one form of abuse. From physical to emotional, all forms of animal abuse will come down to a form of neglect. As a resident of Fort Collins, you know how low temperatures can drop during the winter, and unfortunately, leaving pets out during the temperatures that drop below freezing is one of the most common means of animal abuse that we have to work with at our animal hospital. Because this is such a travesty, we want to prepare the community of Fort Collins with the steps that should be taken if you suspect that an animal is being neglected.

Step 1: Evaluate

Take the time to evaluate the situation over time. It may look like neglect one day, but could be an off day for the owner and actually be a good living situation for the pet. Make sure to check during different times of the day as well. If you notice that an animal is being neglected with empty food and water bowls, severe wounds or is stuck out in the cold weather, take action.

Step 2: Confirmation

Before you go ahead and report the animal abuse, start by trying to talk to the owner of the animal. First ensure that you are safe by talking with this individual. Whether that comes down to looking into a directory of the area, leaving a note or contacting your HOA, make sure that your safety comes first. If you are unable to get ahold of the individual, move forward with reporting the abuse.

Step 3: Report

Ensuring that the situation is taken care of is the most important step. After making an effort to evaluate the situation and to get ahold of the animal’s owner, the next step is reporting the neglect. Contact the Fort Collins animal control, humane society or law enforcement so that they can take charge of the situation. These individuals are trained to take care of these situations in a safe and effective manner. Do not, by any means, try and handle a situation of animal abuse on your own.

As a veterinarian and animal hospital, our team hopes to see as few animal abuse cases as possible. By having a community that understands what animal abuse comes down to, and how to handle the situation, we are hopeful that less and less cases will occur. Contact Countryside Animal Hospital if you rescue an animal that has been neglected or if you end up finding an abused animal. We are eager to get these animals on a happy and healthy path of life again!