Justice for Sweet Pig Kept in ‘Dungeon-Like’ Basement

91 Signatures Collected

PETITION TARGET: Campbell Municipal Court Prosecutor

A sweet pig named Oreo suffered in a urine-saturated, “dungeon-like” basement — left without light, fresh air, or the ability to access water — in Campbell, Ohio, until her recent rescue.

Oreo’s owner, when contacted by a Campbell police officer who told her keeping the pig was against the city’s codes, reportedly said she moved Oreo to a nearby farm. But days later, the officer found out Oreo was still in the basement.

Officers and rescuers who executed a search warrant on the property found Oreo living in her own excrement,  in a room without any natural or artificial light and “an overpowering stench of urine and ammonia.” The innocent pig was lying on her side – so obese that she couldn’t support herself or get to her water bowl. Rescuers reported her hooves were severely overgrown, she appeared dehydrated, and her legs likely were arthritic, according to news reports.  

While on scene, a man called and reportedly told officers he would kill them if they moved the pig, according to news reports.

Authorities charged Cortney Kline-Carnes and Shawn Kline with misdemeanor counts of keeping swine without a license, prohibitions against companion animals, and cruelty to animals. Kline-Carnes also is facing a count of obstructing official business, while Kline faces an additional count of aggravated menacing.

Kline-Carnes, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, has claimed that Oreo was her emotional support animal and was treated well and like “family,” but has since agreed to voluntarily surrender her. Prosecutor Brian Macala told news that even had Kline-Carnes had the proper licenses and paperwork to keep Oreo as an emotional support animal, local regulations would have required proper, humane care.

“[Kline-Carnes] may have a feeling that she was deriving enjoyment or support… from that animal, but that was quite clearly an animal in distress,” Macala told Mahoning Matters.

The rescue where Oreo is recuperating said that she has started to learn how to walk outside again, but anticipates it will take months of recovery and weight loss for Oreo to be able to “be a pig” mentally and physically again. 

This tragic case of brutal neglect must be treated with the severity it deserves. Pigs are highly intelligent and sensitive beings, and this sweet and defenseless animal did not deserve to suffer as she did.

Sign our petition urging Campbell Municipal Court prosecutors to hold the individual(s) responsible in this animal cruelty case accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including any needed intervention services and a maximum ban on owning or caring for animals in the future. 


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Windsor man sentenced to jail for animal abuse

Tyler Vassell, 31, was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail to be served every weekend.

Vassell previously pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing unnecessary harm to an animal.

Court heard in November 2019, a puppy was struck repeatedly inside an apartment building on the city’s east end.

Dorchester Apartments at 2545 Lauzon Road in Windsor, on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (Michelle Maluske / CTV Windsor)

“It’s an appropriate sentence under the circumstances,” defence lawyer Frank Miller told CTV News outside of court.

Miller had asked for house arrest for Vassell because he is the single-income earner for his family, which includes three children with another on the way.

Tyler Vassell. (Courtesy Facebook)

Miller says his client is remorseful and regrets his actions.

“As a result of this incident, he has decided to become completely abstinent from the consumption of alcohol,” Miller said.

Crown Attorney Jayme Lesperance had asked for a jail sentence of nine months to a full year, calling Vassell’s actions “a crime of violence.”

“As confirmed in the decision, pet owners are in a position of trust over the animals, it requires deterrence for when they are being sentenced for the abuse of these vulnerable animals who cannot communicate their pain and suffering. Thankfully this accused, in addition to his jail sentence, will not be able to own or possess pets for 10 further years,” said Lesperance.

More details to come..

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Hanley Hills man accused of animal abuse has been dog fighting for 30 years, charges say | Law and order

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A Hanley Hills man faces charges of animal abuse, neglect and dog fighting after police in August rescued more than a dozen malnourished and injured dogs from the man’s home.

Brian Maclin, 57, was charged Tuesday with a felony count of dog fighting, 12 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and one misdemeanor count of animal neglect or abandonment. According to charges, Maclin told police he’d been “involved” in dog fighting for 30 years.

Charges say that in mid-August, police got a tip about dog fighting at Maclin’s home in the 1900 block of Bainbridge Drive. North County Police Cooperative officers who went to Maclin’s home first found a large pit pull tied to a fence with no water, food or shelter. After getting consent to enter Maclin’s property, charges said, police walked into the back yard, which prompted Maclin’s wife to call Maclin.

Officers heard whimpering from inside Maclin’s detached garage, charges said. A detective spoke to Maclin by phone and received permission to enter the garage. Inside, the detective smelled the “putrid” odor of dog feces and urine and found 12 small dogs locked in cages “with large amounts of feces piled up inside.”

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None of the 12 dogs had food or water in their cages, charges said. Nine of them had injuries consistent with dog fighting and all were malnourished. Some had fresh blood on their faces, charges said. Animal control officers took the dogs for treatment.

Officers also found a treadmill and hanging rope, which police said are commonly used to train dogs for fights, charges said.

A judge set Maclin’s bail at $25,000 cash-only.

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Report animal abuse in Nepal effectively: A 4-step guide

We bet you love scrolling your feed, for hours, going over posts after posts of cute pets. But, any given day, when you come across people beating, abusing or misbehaving with the pets, you might want to skip over it soon or you might want to report animal abuse. If you are the latter kind but are clueless about what you can do to stop animal abuse or how to act against the abusers, here is how you can deal with the issue and report the animal abuse.

1. Know the law

criminal code act section 290 against reporting animal abuse
Screenshot of Criminal Code Act Section 290. [Note: Edited for clarity]

The first thing you need to understand regarding animal abuse is that it is in fact illegal and has been mentioned in the Criminal (Code) Act, (2017). That means, as a law-abiding citizen, it is also your responsibility to report the abuse.

As per section 290 of the act, it is illegal for people to beat, kick, or overwork animals or pets, cause or impose any harm, or cause them to undergo disease or injury or disability. If anyone is found guilty, they are liable for imprisonment for up to three months or a fine up to Rs 500 or both.

In section 291 of the act, it is prohibited for people to kill animals in public spaces. With an exception to religious and culturally accepted sacrifices of an animal or a bird in socially and culturally accepted spaces, causing harm or killing them in a public space is illegal. 

If found guilty, one is liable for imprisonment for up to one month or a fine of up to Rs 500 or both. 

criminal code act section 291 for reporting animal abuse
Screenshots from Criminal Code Act Section 290. [Note: Edited for clarity]

There is also the Animal Welfare Directive (2016) that focuses on the development, security and wellness of the animals.

Apart from the Criminal Code, the Local Government Operation Act, 2017, also supports animal welfare. In section 11 of the act, local government bodies have to include regulations regarding local animal health, services of veterinary / animal healthcare, a system for the development and management of animal species, regulation on the quality of animal feed as well as animal shelters and slaughterhouses. The local bodies also have to support areas of animal husbandry and other animal welfare-related activities.

The local bodies are also liable to act in the conditions regarding the lost or found pets and/or against abandonment, neglect or abuse.

So, if you know the legal aspects, you can be key to making them credible and accountable as you can report animal abuse.

2. Know your responsibility

making a call
Representational image. Photo: Pexels/ Ono Kosuki

And you can report the abuse even if the pet is not yours. It is legally allowed for any citizen to coordinate and report animal abuse. 

If you are asked why you are reporting the abuse or questions about your relationship with the animal, you can just refer to your legal rights and do the right thing.

3. Go to the ward/city office

local government
Graphical representation of local government bodies.

When you see any act of abuse or neglect, as an aware citizen, you can first write an application to the respective ward offices or animal department of the municipality and rural municipality. You can also report animal abuse cases to the community development committee of the ward. 

As per the legal obligations described above, the local representatives have to follow through with the complaint and take necessary actions after you report animal abuse.

4. Reach out to other agencies

dogs dressed as doctors
Photo: Pexels/ Sam Lion

If the act of abuse or neglect or harm is more gruesome, you can also take it to the police and report that. But, there are a few things you would need. This includes a recommendation from the ward office supporting the cause. You can get this by writing an application to the ward chairperson.

In emergency cases, you can directly report animal abuse to the police administration with the required affidavit and proof.

You can also reach out to or register your complaint with animal welfare organisations.

Mostly, when you reach out to the organisation working in the sector of animal welfare to report animal abuse, your chances of getting justice for your pet or animal of your concern will increase.

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Stop Exploiting Elephants at Indiana Wildlife Exhibit 

1250 Signatures Collected

PETITION TARGETS: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wilstem Wildlife Park, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Elephants who formerly spent their lives exploited in circuses now are being forced to have hundreds of strangers touch them, spray them with water, pose for pictures with them, and senselessly paint their toenails — with each encounter raking in between $119 and $599 for their exhibitors at Wilstem Wildlife Park in Indiana during the summer months.

The website for Wilstem Inc, a for-profit business with properties in French Lick and Paoli, shows paying customers can participate in an elephant “spa” for $119, a 2-hour encounter where elephants have to endure untrained people spraying them with water and stand still while “young participants” paint their toe nails.

The business’s most expensive elephant package – billed as its “most exclusive,” “private” encounter – allows up to eight people to crowd around the captive elephants, touch them, and take photos with them.

These hands-on encounters with elephants – who are sensitive, highly intelligent animals –  are continuing even though Wilstem Inc recently was fined $8,000 by federal inspectors for numerous violations that spanned species—including lack of facility supervision for children interacting  directly with animals.

Wilstem Inc

Wilstem Inc elephant interaction (Image via Yelp)

In an affidavit obtained by Lady Freethinker through a public records request, a federal inspector wrote that she had serious concerns about animal handling, other animal interactions involving sloth and kangaroo, and that Wilstem Inc was putting profit before the animals’ welfare.

“The facility needs to be held accountable and responsible for the deaths, mistreatment, and suffering several of the animals were put through before they died or were put to death,” the inspector wrote.

The elephants on display at Wilstem Inc during the summer months are on loan from another USDA-licensed facility in Florida with its own controversial history and documented welfare violations —  including not providing adequate veterinary care to an elephant with a lump on her face and for keeping the elephants chained — as well as other exploitative stunts, such as forcing elephants to play harmonicas for visitors’ “entertainment.”

Wilstem Inc

(Information accessed via Wilstem’s website)

Transporting the elephants from one exploitative venue to the other every year also is dangerous for the elephants and people. The facilities made headlines a few years ago when the transport trailer caught fire and the elephants escaped onto the nearby interstate – where fire fighters, sheriff’s deputies, and emergency services had to assist. 

Elephants and other wild animals are not here for our “entertainment.” They deserve to live their lives peacefully in their natural environments, with freedom to roam, play, and interact with others of their own kind  — as they need to do in order to thrive.

Sign our petition urging the USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to immediately inspect conditions at Wilstem Inc and to seize any suffering animals and safely relocate them to a reputable sanctuary. We’re also asking Wilstem Inc to stop offering paid interactions involving physical contact with their elephants and other wild animals.

Then, read LFT’s full story about Wilstem Inc here.

Indiana Wildlife Exhibitor Fined $8,000 for Welfare Violations Has History of ‘Lying’ to Feds, Affidavits Reveal

Wilstem Inc

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Stop Macaques From Being Terrorized in Angkor Wat

10 Signatures Collected

PETITION TARGET: Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO and H.E Dr. Hang Peou, Director-General of APSARA National Authority

Curious and social macaques in Angkor Wat are being poked with metal prods, harassed, and some were recently ripped from their mothers as they nursed, in order to create videos online for “entertainment.”

The exploitation of macaques in these videos is highly disturbing.

Video footage posted on social media shows mother macaques being forcibly held by video operators, while their nursing babies are removed from them, placed into backpacks in what appeared to be an attempt to swap babies from a different mother. This is extremely stressful for the vulnerable infants and the mothers, who scream out in distress.

Other videos show the animals being relentlessly stalked by people with cameras who shout and prod  them with rods. There have also been reports of video operators staging “rescues.”

This violates Cambodian law, as Article 49 of Cambodia Forestry Law (3) states that it is strictly prohibited to hunt, harm or harass all wildlife.

Monkeys who have been raised as “pets” also have been reportedly released amongst existing troops at Angkor Wat  by camera operators. This puts those individuals at serious risk for injury or death.

Video makers have turned monkey following into an “industry”, and footage is posted daily across social media platforms. The video makers make money by having trending videos and by requesting funds from viewers.

These animals are typically fearful of humans, however the artificial feeding of them has habituated macaques to human beings so that they are less fearful, and may become aggressive towards people in search of food. .

Abusing and terrorizing sensitive macaques for social media views—or for any other reason—is cruel and unacceptable. 

Sign our petition today urging UNESCO and APSARA to intervene and stop this inhumane, unlawful exploitation of the macaques, and put a humane management plan into place to include a strict prohibition of people interacting with and feeding the monkeys. 

Then, read our news story here.




Macaque in Angkor Wat

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Public’s Help Sought to Identify Aggravated Animal Abuse Suspect

On the night of Monday, August 29 between 10:30 pm and 11:10 pm, a man attacked two dogs in a fenced yard off of 6th Street near the McDonalds in Wellington. One of the dogs died during the attack, and the other was seriously injured but is expected to recover. LCSO is working to identify the suspect who was described as a white adult male about 5’8” to 6’02” who was wearing a dark-colored t-shirt and light-colored pants. The suspect is believed to be associated with a motorcycle bearing an Arkansas license plate. A security camera image of the suspect is included.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or any crime is asked to call Investigator Johnston at 970-498-5509.

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Urge TripAdvisor to Stop Selling Cruelty to Elephants

109 Signatures Collected

PETITION TARGET: TripAdvisor CEO, Matt Goldberg

Captive elephants exploited in the tourism industry suffer horrifically — including being separated from their families, kept on chains that can cut into their soft flesh, and beaten with sharp bull hooks that leave vicious wounds.

In 2016, TripAdvisor announced they’d no longer sell tickets to tourism experiences where people come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, which included a ban on elephant rides. This was a welcome, compassionate decision for which we commend the company. However, new research from Lady Freethinker reveals that the company is allowing customers to book cruel venues like Mason Elephant Lodge through 3rd party links on its site, and that booking those accommodations can sometimes include the very experiences that violate TripAdvisor’s current policy.

As just one example, Mason Elephant Lodge has a room option where booking the accommodation includes a free elephant ride — along with hands-on elephant bathing and petting.

It’s also no secret that guests who book the Lodge do so most often to visit the nearby Mason Elephant Park, whose abusive and exploitive history is well documented — including by Lady Freethinker (LFT).

LFT’s investigation from 2019-2020 revealed that elephants at Mason Elephant Park were kept chained in small areas covered in their urine and feces, controlled with sharp metal bullhooks, and forced to give tourists rides. The gentle elephants also endured abusive washing tactics that involved people pushing elephants’ heads underwater for long periods of time. Elephants also demonstrated signs of zoochosis, or psychological distress, that included pacing, swaying, and rocking. 

Besides being cruel and inhumane, forcing elephants into such close proximity with humans also is dangerous. At a roadside attraction in Thailand, a tourist was killed by an elephant while trying to feed one. In another tragic instance, an elephant forced to give rides at a National Park in Zimbabwe crushed his handler to death.

As long as elephants and other wild animals are exploited for “entertainment,” they will continue to suffer.

And as long as TripAdvisor continues to facilitate bookings to cruel venues that offer exploitative experiences tucked inside their pricing packages, the company will be in violation of its own stated commitment to not profit from animals’ suffering.

Please sign today and urge TripAdvisor to live up to their stated commitment to improve wildlife welfare standards and stop allowing people to book Mason Elephant Lodge—and similar cruel venues that offer elephant rides or exploitive wild animal experiences —through its website!

mason elephant rides

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Tampa police arrest Pasco deputy in fatal animal abuse case, department says

A Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested Wednesday after police say he abused his girlfriend’s cat at the couple’s apartment in Tampa, resulting in the cat’s death.

About a month after Eric Harris and his girlfriend moved into an apartment together, they argued on Aug. 21 about the woman’s two cats “defecating on the floor outside of their litter box and jumping onto the counters and furniture,” the Tampa Police Department said in a news release Wednesday night.

When the woman got home around 7 p.m. the next night, both cats were hiding in their crate, according to the release.

She pulled 3-year-old Axel out of the crate and saw that he had broken, bloody toenails on his back paws, and his back legs were preventing him from standing, police said.

The woman took her cat to her regular vet, who examined Axel’s injuries and told her the cat should be taken to an animal hospital, the release said. Axel died later that day.

The vet contacted the police. Detectives say when they questioned Harris, the deputy denied doing anything to harm Axel and said nothing had been wrong with the cat while his girlfriend was away from home.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement performed a necropsy — which is an autopsy for animals — on Aug. 26 and found evidence of severe hemorrhaging, internal organ bruising and injuries to Axel’s face, including a missing tooth, according to the release, “and markings were found on his body indicating that he had been stomped.”

Authorities ruled Axel’s cause of death to be blunt force trauma.

Tampa police arrested Harris at his apartment on Wednesday. According to the release, he faces a felony charge of animal cruelty.

Booking information, including Harris’ photo, was not available in jail records as of this writing.

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