Animal Cruelty Stops With You
Animal Cruelty Hotline
Or report animal cruelty online at: http://www.vermonthumane.org/animal-cruelty/
Caledonia County Cruelty Response System: How does it work?
We have a Cruelty Response System (CRS) that serves the animals and people of Caledonia County. The St. Johnsbury Police Department serves as the central clearinghouse for animal cruelty complaints. The CRS is made up of St. Johnsbury Police Department, animal control officers, constables, humane investigators, police, sheriffs, our state’s attorney’s office, animal rescue organizations and volunteers.
When the St. Johnsbury PD receives an animal cruelty complaint, a dispatcher collects information about the animal(s) involved and then contacts the humane investigator designated to serve the town. The humane investigator visits the location, assesses the animal(s) and speaks with the owner. In most cases, the humane investigator can rectify the situation by educating the pet owner about how to provide better care for the animal(s). If the situation does not improve, the investigator and work with the police to take further action. In some criminal cases, animals may be seized as part of the investigation.
Can I remain anonymous?
Yes, you may file a complaint anonymously, and the humane investigator will do the best they can with the information you provide. If you really want to be helpful, providing your name and phone number will make it easier for the humane investigator to obtain necessary information from you. Your identity will not be disclosed to the person or persons under investigation unless you provide a signed statement and/or the case goes to court.
What is animal cruelty?
Animal Cruelty encompasses a range of behaviors harmful to animals, from neglect to malicious killing. Most cases of cruelty investigated by Humane Officers are unintentional neglect that can be resolved through education. Intentional cruelty or abuse is knowingly depriving an animal of food, water, shelter, socialization, or veterinary care, or maliciously torturing, maim ing, mutilating, or killing an animal. Animal Cruelty is defined by Vermont Law.
What sort of animal cruelty is covered under Vermont Law?
The most common forms of cruelty under Vermont Law ( www.vactf.org ) are: Intentionally killing or attempting to kill any animal belonging to another person without first obtaining legal authority or consent of the owner. Overworking, overloading, torturing, tormenting, abandoning, beating, mutilating, poisoning or attempting to poison an animal. Tying or restraining an animal, either a pet or livestock, in a manner that is inhumane or is detrimental to its welfare. Depriving or failing to provide an animal of adequate food, water, shelter, rest or sanitation, necessary medical attention, or transporting an animal in an overcrowded vehicle. This applies to an animal which a person owns, possesses, or cares for.
Why do these laws exist?
The purpose of the Vermont Cruelty Laws are to prevent cruelty to and neglect of animals. In enforcing these laws, Humane Officers are encouraged to educate the public on requirements of the law and, when appropriate, to seek voluntary resolution of violations.
What is the punishment for breaking the law?
When voluntary resolution cannot be achieved, the first violation of these laws carry penalties of up to one year in prison, a fine of $2,000.00, or both. Second and subsequent convictions are punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than two years, a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
If you witness animal cruelty in Caledonia County, call the St. Johnsbury Police Department (802) 748-2315 or report online at www.ReportAnimalCruelty.com
5 Things You Can Do to Help the Animals
1) Educate yourself about the Vermont Humane and Proper Treatment of Animals law at https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/fullchapter/13/008
2) Report animal cruelty to the St. Johnsbury Police Department (802) 748-2315
3) Be outspoken about animal cruelty and neglect. Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Write letters to local newspapers.
4) Sign up with KAS to foster an animal in the event of an emergency.
5) Donate to Kingdom Animal Shelter. Your contribution makes the support of humane investigations and proper enforcement possible.