Animal cruelty to be discussed at WWU

Forced to fight and left to die
Forced to fight and left to die

Animal cruelty takes many forms—neglect, including starvation, dehydration, improper shelter, and active cruelty, such as beating, kicking, whipping and burning. Hundreds of animals

die each year as a result of man’s thoughtless acts.

Animal lovers will have the opportunity to learn about animal cruelty investigations Nov. 24 at William Woods University. The program will be at 4 p.m. in WWU’s Weitzman Model Courtroom on the lower level of Burton Business Building.

Lisa Dority, coordinator of extension continuing education, will speak about the National Animal Cruelty Investigations School, which is part of the Law Enforcement Training Institute at the University of Missouri.

The event is designed for attendees to learn what animal cruelty investigations are like and to introduce students to career possibilities. Cynthia Kramer, professor of legal studies, is sponsoring the event.

The late James Herriot, English veterinarian and author of “All Creatures Great and Small,” said, “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs … [they] are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no right to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty.”

The National Animal Cruelty Investigations School was founded in 1990 and was the first of its kind. The school offers a combination of specialized veterinary and law enforcement

Walking skeleton
Walking skeleton

training. Students from a range of backgrounds—including federal, state and local animal cruelty officers, humane society investigators and board members, police officers and sheriffs’ deputies, court personnel and other citizens—learn from experts about all aspects of animal welfare and safety.

Since 1990, representatives of more than 1,000 agencies in the United States and Canada have attended the school.

Criminal justice, criminology and animal science are some undergraduate fields of study for those interested in animal cruelty investigation.

Freshman Madison Reifsteck said, “I did not even know that there was such a thing as animal cruelty investigation. I am very interested to learn all about this subject.”

Animal cruelty investigation is a new but growing career. An animal cruelty investigator is a person who takes reports about animal welfare concerns, then researches and investigates them to conclude whether a crime has been committed. Many of the working hours are in the field, including responding to calls or complaints.

“I work for a vet, so animals are really important to me,” freshman Matthew Underwood said. “I am really against animal cruelty and I’m happy to see that people are doing something about it.”

Freshman Elyssa Cappaert said, “I think that animals should be treated like people, and I really feel that those who abuse animals should be punished the way that people who abuse people are punished. I think it’ll be cool to hear about the side of animal investigation and see how they take care of it because I don’t really know.”