ANDERSON, Ind. – The Animal Protection League is hoping a recent case of abuse will be the catalyst for change in city and state law.
On Aug. 23, an 8-year-old pit bull was brought to the league after it was found on the side of the road. The dog, which the league named Libby, was suffering from starvation, mange, severe arthritis, chipped and cracked teeth, and other injuries as which they identified as the likely result of being overused for breeding.
“I know it’s hard to believe that she looked worse, but she did,” Jennifer Judd said.
Judd is an animal care advocate and on the board of the protection league. After seeing Libby’s condition, she decided to care for the dog.
“I knew that her health wasn’t going to be great, and that if anyone could give her a quiet environment where she could try to get better and have a chance I wanted it to be me,” she said.
Because Libby is in such bad shape, and the medicine that is necessary to treat her pain will likely damage her kidneys, Judd says it’s not a matter of if, but when she’ll need to be euthanized. Judd says all they can do now is manage Libby’s chronic pain.
“This happens all the time. This is not unique, and so we’re just kind of saying enough is enough,” Judd said.
Judd and the Animal Protection League are now on a mission to find Libby’s owner and hold them responsible. At the same time, they’re hoping Libby can be the face of another push to help put an end to what they’re calling the common occurrence of animal abuse in the area.
“We get animals in neglectful states every day. I mean there’s probably ten right now that I can send you out to look at,” Animal Protection League executive director Maleah Stringer said.
According to Stringer, there are many cases of animal abuse and neglect similar to Libby’s. Many of them due to the fact that Anderson is a low income area, and people can make money either breeding or fighting dogs. Stringer says what’s even worse is the fact that current laws and ordinances lack the teeth to do anything about it.
“It has to get prosecuted but there has to be ordinances and state laws in place to allow law enforcement to do their jobs,” she said.
Stringer says proposed ordinance changes are currently being reviewed by the city. Now Stringer, Judd and the Animal Protection League are hoping that drawing attention to cases like that of Libby will help prompt changes.
“You have to wonder how many people saw this dog? How many people saw this dog, saw what was happening to her and thought it was normal? How many children saw this and this this is the way you have pets, this is the way you have dogs? That desensitizes children so is that the next generations you want coming up to run our world?” Stringer said.