BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore police announce major changes to the way it handles animal cruelty just as the city is hit with four horrific cases in one week.

Monique Griego has more on what prompted the department to take action.

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Part of the reason has to do with a report that accused the department of not taking the cases seriously.

The pictures are tough to look at.

Tuesday, police found a puppy, abandoned in an empty house, with chemical burns on her face.

“Animal cruelty is awful. Had no idea,” said Joyce Ward, neighbor.

Neighbors say the family who lived there in the 1100-block of Somerset Street moved, but left the dog behind.

This is the fourth horrific case of animal abuse in Baltimore in just one week.

Queenie was found chained in a basement, starving and near death. Nemo was thrown from a car, and a puppy died after being stabbed multiple times.

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“We want to make sure that we do right by these animals,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore Police Department.

Thursday, Anthony Guglielmi from Baltimore Police announced the department is overhauling how it handles abused animals.

The news comes after the mayor’s animal abuse commission released a report, accusing the department of not taking the cases seriously.

“This is an issue that is very important to the police department. We just need to figure out a better way to investigate it and do it right,” said Guglielmi.

Right now, animal abuse is handled by the special investigations unit. But that may change, among other things.

“We may see additional resources brought in, we may see partnerships with some advocacy organizations, we may see better training,” he said.

Daphne Baxter, who lives across the street from where the latest dog was found, is happy to see police take some action.

“I think something needs to be done to these people. It’s a crime,” she said.

Because these cases are hard to investigate, police are always asking for the public’s help.

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The mayor has said she is reviewing the commission report and is also going to address other departments that can improve.