‘It’s been a really violent year’: RACC responds to increase in animal cruelty calls

Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 7:24 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the pandemic continues, Richmond Animal Care and Control continues to handle high adoption rates, as well as an increase in violence and cruelty towards animals.

“Unfortunately, that is the story that is sad. The sad part of the pandemic - we’re seeing a big increase in some really egregious cruelty cases, which normally are sprinkled about throughout the years. We’ve had three to four that are really sad and really gruesome. We have had more animals shot this year than ever before,” said Christie Chipps-Peters with RACC.

While RACC is continuing to compile data, she says more than 10 dogs have been shot and killed this year.

“We have seen a big increase in violence towards the animals in the home and outside of the home,” she explained.

In October, RACC asked for the public’s help in searching for the person responsible for shooting a dog named Apollo at close range, along Clydewood Avenue. A car was seen leaving the area.

“He lived, which is crazy. I can’t believe he lived,” she said. “That same week, we had two others. One was a drive-by in a car, and they shot the car up. Thank the Lord the humans didn’t die, but they shot and killed the dog in the car with the people.”

With the increase in violence, there has also been an increase in people reporting cases of cruelty.

“If they see something, say something,” she said. “And we are having people report at a higher level, so that’s good because they are home and they are seeing things in their neighborhood that maybe aren’t so great.”

She says RACC relies on the “eyes and ears in the community” to alert them to any cases of neglect, abuse and cruelty.

“When they see any sort of abuse - human or animal - please report it,” Chipps-Peters explained.

RACC says reporting cruelty has led to many cases they are working on being taked to court. RACC is hopeful to have successful convictions with the cases.

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