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A dog named Bruce had already suffered a rough life before he arrived at a Los Angeles city kennel. Just last year, a man without a shirt or shoes came to the shelter with Bruce and demanded that he be euthanized. When the shelter politely denied his request, he pulled out a box cutter and slashed the dog’s neck in front of the employees, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Bruce’s laceration was six inches, and a veterinarian at the shelter was able to save him. A few months later, an Instagram video shows Bruce sitting in a kennel.

“5 year old Bruce, #A1980803, is just done. He doesn’t want to eat treats, he doesn’t want to get up. He is listed as evidence/police. He’s not allowed out of his kennel so he just sits in this concrete cell since 5/26.”

Bruce stayed at the shelter for seven months while the police investigated and sought charges. Bruce was not allowed to go on walks or for yard time because of the ongoing case. Now, other cases like Bruce, who are barred from seeing anyone or going out, are coming to light.

The Los Angeles Times reported that for years, the Los Angeles Animal Services kept dogs who were seized in abuse or neglect cases confined to their kennels and barred them from exercising with volunteers. The alleged abuse and neglect of the ‘so-called evidence dogs left’ just left these dogs further neglected by denying them socialization that could help them get over their traumas and rehabilitate them.

At some shelters, evidence dogs are segregated from the adoptable dogs and kept behind a locked door that is described as a “dungeon” because the room is so dark. There have been questions about whether or not the city has violated a California law that requires exercise areas for animals that are confined.

Finally, in June, Animal Services notified their staff that volunteers could start walking those dogs as long as there were no safety concerns. This decision came after animal welfare advocates complained to the city.

The man who cut Bruce’s neck was charged with two felony counts, and Bruce was finally adopted at the end of last year.

Animal abuse is more prevalent than many may think. According to PetPedia, every 60 seconds, an animal suffers from abuse, with more than 65 percent being dogs. More than 10 million animals die from abuse every year in the US alone, not including the livestock bred for consumption, who also suffer immense abuse. Animal abuse happens everywhere and is a serious issue. We need more laws to protect animals and hold abusers accountable.

Sign this petition to demand all states make all animal abuse a felony now!

To reduce the number of suffering dogs on the streets and dogs who are euthanized, it’s important to adopt instead of shop for a dog and never support breeding. Familiarize yourself with tips for adopting so you’re well prepared and read about why breeding dogs is a problem, even if the breeder is “reputable.”

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