Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Four horrifying cases of animal abuse in Baltimore in just one week. Now WJZ has learned the police department is set to announce a major overhaul in the way those cases are handled.
Meghan McCorkell has details on the new plan.
Those changes are coming after an alarming report accused the police department of not taking animal abuse cases seriously.
Another heartbreaking case of animal abuse. A dog was found in an abandoned building with chemical burns on her face. It’s the fourth case of abuse that’s come into BARCS this week alone.
“How can people be so neglectful and cruel to animals?” said Lisa Morabito with BARCS.
Also this week, a dog was found starving, chained in a basement. Another was thrown out of a car and a puppy was stabbed to death.
Now police officials tell WJZ they’re planning major reforms to help track down animal abusers.
“We’re going to be announcing some changes in the near future about how we’re going to investigate those cases,” said Baltimore City police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Four years ago, the mayor formed a task force to address animal abuse but five members of that commission have now stepped down, saying the city just isn’t doing enough. In a scathing report, the commission says the police department “no longer has the commitment or desire to respond to animal crimes.”
“We do have an animal cruelty liaison who’s been very good but she’s overworked and simply does not have the time to investigate all these cases,” said former commission chair Caroline Griffin.
State Senator Lisa Gladden says we need tougher laws to protect animals.
“We need to pass something that says we are not going to tolerate this kind of abuse,” Gladden said.
Police officials say they do have a lead in at least one of the abuse cases this week. They plan to announce their reforms in the next few days.
According to the anti-animal abuse commission, 4,000 dead animals were found on the streets of Baltimore last year. They estimate 20% of them may have been victims of abuse.