Greater Birmingham Humane Society getting more animal abuse calls

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 11:18 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Greater Birmingham Humane Society is sharing information about someone in Bessemer attempting to poison puppies.

They say someone tried feeding the seven week old puppies antifreeze. Some puppies did ingest the poison and one died.

Thanks to a Good Samaritan, that puppy and others are now in the care of the humane society but the shelter is still looking for three others. WBRC reached out to Bessemer police about the situation and any possible charges filed but have not heard back as of Friday night.

This is just one of multiple animal abuse reports the shelter has gotten in recent weeks. We reported on another puppy abuse just a few weeks ago, but GBHS says they’ve received tons of animal abuse calls in the last month and it’s becoming a big problem.

“It’s escalating and escalating and we’ve got to do something to check it and bring it back down,” said CEO Allison Black Cornelius. “We can’t have this.”

During December’s cold snap, Black Cornelius said they started receiving hundreds of calls about dogs left out in the freezing temperatures.

“Birmingham passed an ordinance in the summer of 2020 that made tethering a dog in certain ways against the law,” she added. “But unfortunately, the citizens are not seeing this being enforced and so what happens when they call the City of Birmingham, they just turn around and call us back and we end up having to go out because the citizens are so upset.”

Outside of the cold weather, she says animal abuse behavior is escalating.

“People that are being abusive to animals are doing it out loud,” she said. “They don’t have any shame, they don’t have any worry about being held accountable and that’s the concern we have, especially when they start using guns and shooting them and leaving poison out.”

Black Cornelius wants the city to crack down on the abusers before it gets worse.

“Everybody knows that the link between those who would abuse animals or are cruel to animals and domestic violence, abuse to children, and abuse to elders and women is a link,” she added. “It’s real.”

That’s a big reason she wants people to take animal abuse more seriously.

“So we realize that the police can’t respond to every dog or cat call,” said Black Cornelius. “But what we can do is look at other city’s solutions to how they allow Animal Control Officers to provide support to the police.”

She says they hope to set up a meeting with law enforcement to come up with some better solutions to stop this animal abuse trend from continuing.

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