Local station KOLO reported an increase in animal cruelty cases in northern Nevada during the coronavirus pandemic. Animal agencies have reported an increase in calls.

The Nevada Humane Society (NHS) and Washoe County Regional Animal Services (WCRAS) reported a rise in animal abuse cases during the pandemic, the shelter believes the connection is due to more people spending time at home.

WCRAS Field Supervisor Robert Wooster told KOLO, “I think there is a direct correlation, between the pandemic and stress, people being at home and not being able to go out and they take it out on the animals. We are dealing with neglect cases, lack of nutrition, lack of grocery for animals, lots of thin animals, animals being in a kennel for an extended period of time, without proper food, water, exercise.” Wooster continued, “Also the cruelty aspect of it, we are getting a lot of people that are beating animals these days and they are being more aggressive than we have seen towards the animals.”

Wooster said that the number of cases with welfare complaints that led to citation or civil penalties is, “the highest it’s ever been.”

WCRAS is working to educate owners about animal abuse. NHS CEO Greg Hall added that abused pets rescued from bad situations need extra attention, too. “It’s a pretty big impact on our veterinary staff, they end up having to do a lot of dental work, often times they have ear mites or medical concerns that they need to take care of before adoption.”

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

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