Animal cruelty surge prompts GAIN to action - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Animal cruelty surge prompts GAIN to action

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Recently Guam Animals in Need has received several cases of severe animal cruelty and abuse. Macon, a Dalmatian currently under the care of GAIN, was confiscated by the Guam Police Department, grossly suffering from dermatitis, mange and starvation.

According to GAIN president Cindy Bartels, Macon's situation brought to light how inadequate the current animal cruelty laws are. GAIN is working to improve local laws. According to a media release they are working with the Guam Department of Agriculture, GPD, the Legislature, the AG's office, as well as village mayors to revise local laws and increase enforcement to ensure pet owners abide by the law and provide proper care to their pets.

Currently the penalty for animal cruelty is outdated and allows for a minimum of $50 and $500 maximum, whereas in Hawaii one could pay a penalty for animal cruelty $2,000 and one year imprisonment.

Aside from working to amend local law, GAIN is requesting the Department of Agriculture to either authorize certain persons of GAIN to impound animals that require protective custody and care because of mistreatment or neglect by their owner.  Or improve the response time of the agriculture department's Animal Control Unit.

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