Animal Humane Society sees spike in animal neglect, cruelty cases

A tiny black kitten was one of 124 cats rescued from a home in Crystal since February. 

All the animals were found malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from respiratory infections. The home was ruled uninhabitable and the owner is now facing 10 counts of felony animal torture.

This story marks the latest case in a troubling trend – the Animal Humane Society (AHS) says it has taken in more than 700 animals from cruelty or neglect cases since July, roughly double the number they typically see.

"It's possible if there is another large case before the end of our fiscal year, it could be 1,000 animals this year and that would be almost 8-9% of our total intake," AHS Director of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Graham Brayshaw told FOX 9.

Brayshaw tells FOX 9 they haven't pinpointed a specific reason for the rise, but more resources and an increased awareness from their law enforcement partners could be one reason. He also adds they do see more cases involving cats than any other animal because felines are more efficient breeders.

These cases take a toll not only on the organization's resources, but also on the people who are doing the rescuing as well.

"Dealing with humane investigation cases is really tough work. It is definitely emotionally draining," said Brayshaw.

The AHS’ investigators deal with cases involving all sorts of animals, not just dogs and cats.

If you suspect animal abuse or neglect, you can submit a tip to investigators through a portal on the AHS website.