HARTFORD, CT — Kenway’s owner cared enough to put a collar on him, but apparently not enough to give him the food he needed.
By the time Hartford Animal Control officer Sherry DeGenova found the small dog near the Charter Oak area earlier this week, he was hypothermic and emaciated and didn’t have the strength to stand. She rushed him to a vet clinic in Windsor, where she and staff wrapped him in blankets and took all measures to try to save him.
DeGenova named the dog Kenway because it means “brave warrior.”
“Kenway’s body temperature never registered,” she said yesterday. “He was swarmed over by loving, caring people. They worked on getting him warm and dry. We decided we had to give him a chance.”
“I held his little head in my hands, and I looked at him and said, ‘Fight!’ But Kenway was just too weak, and he lost his battle and died. He didn’t have the strength.”
“RIP, Kenway,” commented DeGenova. “You will forever have a piece of my heart!”
REPORT IT, DON’T IGNORE IT
The dog had clearly been in poor condition for a long time. Rescuers indicated that it is likely he had been seen by one or more other local residents before an elderly man first saw him and notified authorities.
“The man called the police immediately, which is the only reason Kenway got to pass in some level of peace,” said a person involved in trying to save him. “Thanks to that gentleman.”
If animal control had been notified of the neglected dog sooner, chances would have been good for his survival.
DeGenova stresses the need to remind people that if they see or suspect animal neglect or abuse—whether by a neighbor, stranger, or even a family member—they can report it anonymously.
“People need to know that they can make these reports, and they don’t have to leave their name.”
Referring to Kenway, she says, “I don’t want to let his senseless death be in vain. We need to stop animal abuse! We need to get people to report it. He suffered a long time—for no reason!”
Most cases of animal cruelty are discovered—and the animal helped—because someone has reported the situation.
An abuser doesn’t have to hit an animal to be cruel to him. If there is an animal in your community who isn’t being cared for properly, that is neglect—which is a type of cruelty.
According to the ASPCA, “Animal cruelty occurs when someone intentionally injures or harms an animal or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water, or necessary medical care.”
Signs of possible animal cruelty or neglect can include the following:
- Extremely thin animal
- Animal that is limping
- Person striking or otherwise physically hurting an animal
- Animal that is repeatedly deprived of sufficient food and/or water—often this animal is kept so that it lives alone outside, such as chained or in a pen
- Animal that is injured or obviously ill and not receiving veterinary care
- Animal that is kept outdoors without sufficient shelter in extreme weather conditions
To report a neglected or abused animal in the Hartford area, call Animal Control at (860) 757-4390. Again, callers reporting animal cruelty are not required to give their name.
Outside of the Hartford area, call your local police department or animal shelter to report animal cruelty. For further contact information, visit the ASPCA’s searchable shelter database (www.aspca.org/adoption/shelters) of nearly 5,000 community humane societies and animal-control organizations.
Reporting animal cruelty and neglect goes beyond helping animals. Studies have shown that individuals who are cruel to animals can also be capable of violent or harmful behavior toward people.
Safe People–Safe Pets (www.safepeoplesafepets.org) is a nonprofit organization that combines the resources of human and animal-services professionals to increase awareness of this correlation. The group notes:
“Recent research indicates that violence toward animals serves as a symptom and a predictor of other violent behavior. … When animal abuse can be detected early, it not only saves innocent pets from senseless abuse or death but also alerts authorities to criminal or abusive behavior, leads to help for children who are developing a pattern of violence, and saves society and the justice system the heavy costs involved in dealing with serious violent offenders.” —Safe People-Safe Pets
If you notice an animal in distress, do the right thing. Report it. Help raise awareness of animal cruelty and the need to speak out against it.
Don’t let little Kenway’s death be in vain.
This article includes updated information 6/26/11.