Sacramento Sees Troubling Rise in Animal Abuse Cases

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SACRAMENTO-

More flowers and posters are being displayed at the site in Arden Arcade where a dog was trapped in a cage and burned alive, earlier this week.

"General neglect is one thing, but intentional meeting and torture like the burn case is something completely different," Gina Knepp of Front Street Animal Shelter said.

The person who lot the dog on fire is still out there. Several organizations are stepping in, increasing the reward money now to $13,500 to find the abuser.

"Honestly I can't believe somebody would do something like that to an animal. They should be treated like family," dog owner Marciela Molina said.

"Most people are good, I call that behavior just evil," Knepp said.

Another incident the shelter is investigating is the "Colin the Collar Dog" case. The hound was found Sunday on the corner of 18th Street and 71st Avenue in South Sacramento, wandering around and in pain.

"His collar was put on when he was much smaller. But as he grew the collar got embedded into the skin, so he had to be anesthesized and his collar had to be surgically removed and now he's got stitches all around his neck," Knepp said. "People need to understand just like your baby grows out of your car seat your dog grows out of your collar because sometimes it's not intentional at all."

Front Street recorded an astounding 300 cases of animal abuse in 2014. This statistic only included cases within city limits. She said these cases are extremely difficult to prosecute. Even if they do, the punishment is considered relatively light.

"It is what it is our prisons are congested.they are trying to reduce the prison population and unfortunately animal cruelty is something that was reduced," Knepp said.

The maximum jail time a person convicted of animal torture can serve is one year, and a fine of up to $20,000.

"Whoever for example burn the dog can only be charged with one count of animal crueltynot counting the arson component. The laws change so you don't do much time for those that harm animals. It's just a disgrace," Knepp said.

"If it would've been a human being they would've been in jail for a much longer time, so I feel that's not right," Molina said.

Colin's abuser is still out there. He will be ready for adoption once his wounds heal.

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