Local humane society questioning reason behind spike in animal abuse cases

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — Walk through Beaver County Humane Society and you’ll be hard pressed to find an empty case. One factor is just the sheer number of abuse cases the humane officers are currently working.

“Caseload throughout the year for the past two years has increasingly been going up,” said Beaver County Humane Officer Tristan Wenzig.

In fact, the calls to the Beaver County Humane Society have more than doubled. But officers have a hard time pinpointing the reason behind the spike.

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“I can’t say if it’s because of the physical presence of humane officers and people are aware and with the fact that people are going back because of COVID-19 we are seeing a lot of abandoned animals,” Wenzig said.

It also could be the rising costs of taking care of the animals. But all the calls are quickly filling up the shelter and causing resources to be stretched.

“Anytime the weather goes below 40 degrees we start getting phone calls about animals outside left alone unattended, no food, no shelter, no water,” Wenzig said.

To help with the workload, the Humane Society added a third humane officer to the staff just this week. The hope is to cover more ground and allow for more education so other law enforcement agencies can help in filing the abuse charges.

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“That’s the whole goal is to provide a safe environment for all the animals. Hopefully we can do that with the third officer and I plan on getting more in depth in the community as far as our contracted areas to help teach the law enforcement officers on the animal cruelty statue and how to handle situations when we aren’t there,” Wenzig said.

If you want to report a case of animal abuse or adopt one of these animals, all you have to do is call the Humane Society.