To Report Suspected Cruelty
Call (330) 296-4022 extension 102 (Calls to the Humane Officer are confidential)
Contact Your Local Police Department
Contact Portage County Sheriff’s Department at (330) 296-5100
Dial 911 if cruelty is physically taking place now, as cruelty is illegal.
Remember to provide the following information:
- Your name and call back number.
- Street address, number and street of residence or location of the alleged violation.
- Accurate description of the problem and animal(s) involved.
GENERAL RULE: Ohio does not have a particularly good ranking for dealing with animal cruelty. In fact, the “2008 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings” places Ohio behind our neighbor to the southeast, West Virginia and far behind our Michigan neighbor to the north. (Source: Animal Legal Defense Fund)
SIGNS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY
It may take an expert to truly judge whether or not an animal is legally in an abusive state, but anyone with a reasonable level of common sense can see potential signs of abuse and report them to their county’s humane officer or local police or sheriff office. Cruelty signs and symptoms most common are:
- Extremely thin (bones showing) and/or starving animals.
- Animals that either cower or are aggressive when their owners approach.
- Actually seeing a person strike or otherwise abuse an animal.
- Animals that are limping or cannot stand.
- Physical wounds or scaring on the body of the animal.
- Animals left alone without water or food present.
- Animals without shelter and left in extreme conditions (hot or cold). (Note: shelters should be insulated from ground contact during winter months)
- Loss of hair or hair in patches.
- Infestation by fleas or ticks, or swarming flies due to lack of care and hygiene
Portage Animal Protective League, as a service to Portage County residents, fulfills an important role in investigating cases of possible animal abuse or neglect. Portage APL funds a court appointed Humane Officer who does the following:
- Investigates suspected cases of animal cruelty and abuse.
- In accordance with Ohio law and Portage APL policy, places domestic companion animals into protective custody when necessary for their care and safety.
- Provides documentation and, when appropriate, other support in the prosecution of suspected abusers.
- Educates residents and organizations within Portage County as to how animals can and should be treated humanely.
The Humane Officer at Portage APL has the powers to file animal cruelty charges on an individual and also write and serve search warrants.
Because the Humane Officer enforces a state law, they are considered law enforcement.
As part of the continual efforts of Portage APL to reach out to our communities, we offer vocational speakers for classroom lessons as well as Portage APL. Our Humane Officer visits local schools to help educate students of all ages on topics such as, proper animal care, dog bite prevention, pet safety, pet identification and many other animal related topics.
Last year the Humane Officer visited class rooms and youth groups and we hope to continue that activity. We feel that educating the youth in our community is a step in the right direction to help prevent animal cruelty as well as domestic violence. Unfortunately animal cruelty and domestic violence tend to go hand in hand and we need to teach compassion and understanding to our children.
It is a wonderful experience to visit local schools and know that you made a difference in a young person’s life or that you have taught them something they will hopefully carry with them throughout their lives.