Your donations are critical to the survival of Pet-Abuse.Com. They allow us to continue to provide our valuable services to the public, to animal shelters and rescues and to law enforcement agencies. We feel obligated to tell you where your generous donations are going.
Pet-Abuse.Com is entirely volunteer-run, which means that every penny donated goes directly towards the programs and services we provide.
Research and Court Fees
When a case is submitted, we must contact the Police Dept, Dept of Animal Control, or DA's office to verify that the case is valid, and to hopefully get some updated information on trial dates, sentencing dates, etc. With hundreds of new cases added every month, long distance phone calls add up quickly - however we are committed to making sure that the information we present is as accurate as possible. Additionally, if we post information that is *not* correct, we open ourselves up to a bevy of lawsuits, etc. Also because of the volatile nature of our content, we must pay for legal counsel to make sure we're not inviting disaster.
While court records are public information, most county clerk's offices will charge a fee to provide that information. This fee ranges from $5 to $25, depending on the county and state. We also maintain memberships to several databases that allow us to access background information on persons of interest, most of which require a monthly or yearly membership fee.
In some situations where we suspect animal cruelty but are unable to motivate the authorities on claims alone, we obtain the services of private investigators to maintain video surveillance. Once we have video evidence, we are then able to approach the appropriate law enforcement agencies to pursue a criminal case.
The server solution by which the public site and the administrative site (for selected case workers to administer the information with) costs money every month to both use and maintain. Additional toll-free services such as phone and fax numbers also incur monthly fees.
Using our Action Alert webfax forms, Pet-Abuse.Com offers our supporters the ability to send faxes to prosecutors, judges, and legislators right from our website. Making advocacy easy for the concerned public results in a more effective campaign. Each webfax sent out costs between $.11 to $.50 depending on the length of the fax.
A $100 donation empowers 900 people to take action against animal cruelty!
Pet-Abuse.Com also provides food and supplies to special situations where animals in cruelty situations are waiting for new homes. In these scenarios, we provide food, bedding, and/or medical supplies directly to the parties involved until homes can be found.
The printed materials we put out are used for many different purposes. Here's a quick breakdown:
Sending letters/informational literature to shelters in the US to let them know about the resource we provide (specifically the ability to do background checks on potential applicant so they know they are not adopting to someone with a history of animal abuse). The more shelters that know and use our database, the harder it will be for a repeat offender to adopt more animals. And conversely, the database is less effective when shelters aren't using it. Many shelters are just now beginning to bring their operations online, so they don't know about the resources we offer - therefore we have to resort to the grassroots methods of actually sending out letters via mail.
Sending introduction letters to local animal control/humane law enforcement departments to invite them to participate as administrators. Clearly, the more administrators we can get involved who work directly with the cases, the more accurate and thorough the information will be. (For example, if someone has been convicted twice for leaving their dog in a hot car in the summer, its not going to make the evening news - however they *should* be listed in the database, so that adoption resources will think twice before adopting another pet to them.) The more local resources we have, the better the information will be, since they have better access. Ideally, we hope to have every animal control/ humane law enforcement dept across the county tied into this to add their cases every month, etc. And even more ideally, we want to get as many police departments involved as possible as well, so that we can find out if an animal abuser has been brought up on charges later down the line for domestic abuse, punctuating the Abuse Connection.
The victims in animal cruelty crimes cannot speak for themselves - and during the instances where there were human witnesses, it can sometimes be challenging to get those people to come forward. Cash rewards for information leading to an arrest can often times motivate the public to speak up about what they saw.
When Pet-Abuse.Com is working on a specific case, we use the media to gain publicity for the case to encourage others to get involved. Using press releases, we can spread awareness about specific cases to those members of the public who do not frequent our website. The media serves as a powerful tool for education and propelling change! While there are free press release services, the press releases issued for free do not reach as wide an audience. For maximum circulation (including postings on Yahoo News, etc), the cost for each press release is between $80 and $300.