Animal shelters pick up abused animals almost every day, but some can't be helped because they're already dangerous. WYMT's Angela Sparkman spoke to one worker at the Floyd County Animal Shelter about what you can do to protect your pets and help the animal shelters.
The last few weeks we've covered several dog attacks or animal abuse stories in different counties and local shelter directors believe there are many more potential cases out there. They believe it can be prevented, but say it's up to the public to help.
"It makes me very, very, very angry to find animals mistreated. There's no sense in the cruelty we put our animals through. We're supposed to protect them, yet we're cruel to them," Terry Hays said.
Hays takes in dogs no one wants or were abused.
"The cruelty is getting worse, it's getting worse," said Kathy Mullins, Floyd County Animal Shelter Manager.
Right now, 213 animals fill the Floyd County Animal Shelter, one of their highest totals. All were left on the road or discovered abused.
Some dog's abuse can turn it dangerous. Shelter directors say thousands of similar dogs don't make it to shelters and those are the ones people need to lookout for.
"Never approach a stray animal, no matter how friendly it may seem. If a dog tail is down and that dog is approaching, get out of the way," Mullins said.
Mullins says pet owners need to make sure their dog doesn't turn into one of those.
"The biggest problem is, people don't restrain their animals," Mullins said.
She says owners need to keep their pets on their own property, give them plenty of food and water, and if a dog shows any signs of biting, keep them locked up, just like Hays does with one of her dogs that bites.
"I wouldn't take the chance of him harming a child. If you're going to own pets, you have to be responsible for that pet," she said.
Officials say one of the best ways to prevent animal abuse is to make sure your pets are spayed and neutered.