Spreading the word about animal abuse: Volunteers hang posters resembling "lost pet" flyers

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Spot abuse and report it. Don't hesitate. Don't hope someone else will do it. That's the message behind a unique campaign that's sure to get your attention.

Volunteers hung hundreds of posters resembling “lost pet” flyers around Milwaukee on Wednesday, August 27th to encourage residents to dial 911 if they see or hear an animal being abused.

"Well, at first I thought someone's cat was lost, so I wanted to see if I had seen it," said Samone Pendleton.

Pendleton tore off one of the reminder tabs on the flyer to dial 911 when you spot animal abuse.

"I support it highly. I love animals so if I see it. I'm definitely going to dial it," said Pendleton.

Six teams of volunteers hung the posters. They were led by Karen Burns, whose dog, Beatrice, was kidnapped from her home, tortured, and suffered burns to 90 percent of its body.

"Animal abusers frequently become domestic abusers, murders, serial killers. Animal abuse is just one step," said Burns.

The marketing stunt is the latest effort in a public service campaign for the “Spot Abuse Project,” a collaboration between the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin Humane Society, Sojourner Family Peace Center, The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) and Serve Marketing.

"I think that's kinda that surprise factor, which is really going to make the message resonate and get people talking about it. That you have to dial 911 if you spot animal abuse," said Gary Mueller, founder of Serve Marketing.

The campaign, launched in May, aims to prevent domestic violence through the reporting of animal abuse and is based on research from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys which found that 76 percent of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. If more people can be convinced to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse, not only will the animal be protected, but the police will have the opportunity to uncover more domestic violence cases

For more information, visit SpotAbuse.org or connect with the cause on Facebook at Facebook.com/SpotAbuse and follow on twitter at twitter.com/SpotAbuse.

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