Several states have laws in place that address the issue of veterinarians reporting suspected animal cruelty and abuse. These include Arizona, which outlines a veterinarian’s duty to report suspected canine participants of dog fighting. Oregon makes it mandatory for veterinarians to report aggravated animal abuse. Additionally, Kansas requires veterinarians to report cruel or inhumane treatment, and failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.
Because laws vary from state to state, it’s vital that veterinarians review local and state animal cruelty laws.
A veterinarian’s role in animal cruelty cases is to be the medical expert and not the prosecutor, judge and jury. Thomas Skadron, DVM, owner of Skadron Animal Hospital in West St. Paul, Minn., and a Veterinary Hospitals Association board member, had a suspected cruelty case in which local law enforcement asked that he get involved.
“The dog that came in had a broken femur, and we donated the fracture repair via intramedullary pin as opposed to amputation or euthanasia,” he said. “In this case, it meant the difference between being treated and not being treated.”
To read the full article, including different ways to identify cruelty and what veterinarians and their team can do, visit Veterinary Practice News.