Rescue the Animals teaches investigators to identify animal abuse


ABILENE, Texas - Rescue the Animals, SPCA says the more agencies that know how to handle animal abuse and neglect in West Texas, the faster they can help the animals that need saving.

That's why the non-profit is hosting a free animal cruelty investigation course for officials in the area Thursday and Friday.

"Believe it or not, throughout this area there is a lot of neglect, a lot of abuse that goes on," said Animal Cruelty Investigator Lynn Pitcox.

Abilene resident Federica Vinera experienced what she believes was animal abuse on Monday. She says she left her three dogs in the backyard while she ran a quick errand but when she came back, she saw a hole in her fence and immediately searched for her dogs.

"I see Chloe, my little white one and she looked like she was going to throw up, and when I came out, I see her face full of blood and she was spitting blood," Vinera said. "I go around the house behind and I see my other dog laying there and he was barely breathing and barely standing up."

Two of her dogs are dead and a third is recovering. Vinera said she believes her dogs were poisoned and she took them to a veterinarian. The veterinarian said he couldn't determine if that was what happened, but said it was a possibility.

Pitcox said the 12-hour course will teach officials how to handle situations like this one. They'll learn how to take control of an animal abuse situation and how to determine if an animal was abused. It's meant to educate animal control officers and law enforcement so they can help each other in case of a large animal cruelty case.

"When we offer this training, we offer it to these agencies that work in the outlying areas, and that puts them on the same page with us as far as the knowledge we have. Everyone has the same training," Pitcox said.

If you suspect any animal is being abused or neglected, Rescue the Animals says to contact them at 325-698-7722.