Pr. George's Officials Emphasize Proper Animal Care Following Recent Incident
Officials in Prince George's County are stressing educated animal care and encourage residents to report instances of animal cruelty.
After a burned, mistreated dog was discovered in June with pieces of duct tape on its ear and body, Prince George’s County officials have begun emphasizing proper animal care.
According to the Gazette, the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) handles between 1,200 and 1,500 cases of animal cruelty each year, and most are related to neglect or being uneducated in proper pet care.
“Most of the cases are what we call ‘educational,’ where people haven’t provided proper shelter, food, water or shots and veterinary care,” Rodney Taylor, chief of DER’s Animal Management Division, told the Gazette. “We only deal with cases where a pet has been starved to death or was involved in dog fighting 5 to 10 or maybe 20 times per year.”
He added that the discovery of the dog in June, on the 12500 block of Proxmire Drive in Fort Washington, was the first time he had seen something so severe in the past few years.
John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, told the Gazette the incident is under investigation and his office treats animal abuse cases the same way it would treat a crime against a human.
"Cases like this show a callous disregard for life and the perpetrator represents a threat to both the animals and the people in our community," Samuel Wynkoop, Jr., the director of the DER, told NBC. "We hope someone comes forward with information to help us solve this case."
The DER is attempting to educate children in Prince George’s County Public Schools about animal cruelty with its “Humane Education Program,” which according to the Gazette, is meant to educate residents about being responsible pet owners, as well as to let them know what constitutes animal cruelty and when to report an incident.
“Cruelty against animals is intolerable,” Briant Coleman, a spokesman for PGCPS, told the Gazette. “That is why we teach children about respecting all creatures as part of our overall character education initiatives.
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward for information about last month’s incident. Call DER’s Animal Management Division at 301-780-7241 to report a tip, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477.