Animal Cruelty Crime Reports Fall Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns

Travel restrictions and redirected resources mean fewer people are reporting animal welfare issues, but advocates say cases are still out there.

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Animal welfare advocates are crediting coronavirus-connected community lockdowns and social distancing with a reduced number of animal cruelty crimes reported in some jurisdictions. In response, they’re preparing to answer a surge in animal cruelty crime reports after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

According to animal welfare advocate Tinia Creamer, founder and president of Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, in West Virginia, reports of suspected animal cruelty traditionally rise in the spring.

“The time between March and May is usually the busiest time of the year for us because horses are coming off the winter,” and reports of malnourished horses start to flow in, Creamer said. “Currently, the number of calls is down because of the coronavirus, but that does not mean that the horses are not there.”

That’s because the individuals who would report suspected cruelty have had their movement restricted, said Jim Boller, executive director of Code 3 Associates, which trains law enforcement personnel, animal welfare investigators, veterinarians, and others to spot and respond to animal welfare cases

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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