Friday, December 07, 2007

Abuse

Someone called about an abuse case this afternoon. She said that a neighbour had seen another neighbour kick the cat down the steps. The cat subsequently died.

The person who called wanted to know how much it would cost to take the person to court. This is not legal advice and it's always best to consult a praticising lawyer, but as animal abuse is a criminal case, you won't need to pay anything as it isn't a civil suit.

I told her that the most important thing is to gather as much evidence as possible and file a police report. The next step which the police will evaluate is if they have enough evidence to pursue the matter. For example, a vet report would be very important- obviously the more witnesses to the act as well, the better, because chances are, the person will turn around and deny that they abused the cat.

She said her neighbour wanted to know if CWS can help and I explained that while we can always write to the police and ask what the status is if nothing is done, we cannot file the report. I also said that for example, the police in the past have not told us the exact status of the case citing confidentiality. I can see why - for example, a case happens to someone and everyone decides to call the police for information. Clearly they cannot go around and give out this information to all and sundry. They have told us that they will update the person who filed the report, and that person can then update whomever he or she wishes to tell.

The girl who called said that they were all going to file as a group but I told her that as not everyone in that group had witnessed the abuse, only direct eyewitnesses would probably give testimony. By that same token, even if everyone goes down for moral support, the police will probably only update the witness.

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