Humane society calls for tougher laws to fight animal abuse

The Windsor-Essex County Humane Society is calling for more funding of tougher laws to help cut down on animal abuse in the area.

'Studies prove that serial killers and murderers, they usually start with abusing animals'

The Windsor-Essex County Humane Society says more funding and tougher laws would help it fight animal abuse in the area.

The comments come after several recent animal cruelty investigations including a small dog that was allegedly slammed against an elevator wall and hit several times on its head.

According to Melanie Coulter, executive director of the humane society, the animal welfare organization spends $200,000 each year on animal cruelty enforcement in the area, all of which is funded through donations.

"The cost of enforcing animal cruelty legislation is substantial, and people are often surprised to know that it's funded 100 per cent by donations," she explained. "There's always more we could do if we had more resources."

Coulter said she would love ot have more officers on the road, but added the humane society currently has enough staff to respond to every call the organization receives.

Tough job

Amy Reaume has been an animal cruelty investigator with the humane society for 11 years.

She said she loves her job, but admitted it can be difficult to deal with at times.

"I can say that when I first started this job, I cried almost every single day," she said.

Amy Reaume has been an animal cruelty investigator with the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society for 11 years. She said the current penalties for animal cruelty aren't tough enough. ((Dale Molnar/CBC))

Among the worst cases of abuse she's investigated is an incident from 2013; it involved several starved farm animals.

"A couple were still alive that you can tell that they had eaten the other ones," she explained. "Sheep were dead. Chickens, ducks, everything, and everything just starved to death. There was no food, no water."

The owner of the animals ended up with a $50,000 fine, but Reaume said that's not enough. Although it's hard to say with certainty that tougher penalties would make a difference the animal cruelty investigator said the laws need to be tougher.

"Maybe it would lessen what happens if the person that's doing it knows they would go to jail for sure for five years," she said, adding that typically abusive owners only end up on probation. "They get off with not owning an animal for five years, and this is someone who starved a dog to death."

Justice was bound in electrical tape and abandoned behind a shopping centre in Windsor, Ont. in 2015. (Windsor/Essex County Humane Society)