Many of you may have unfortunately come into contact with some form of evidence or advertisement of animal abuse on the internet. It occurs anywhere from individual websites, forums, blogs, online marketplaces, and video sharing sites. Not only does this abuse harm animals, but it puts people at danger too. Scrupulous criminals often use animals as a ploy to trap people or trick them into giving them money. It is EXTREMELY important that any evidence of animal abuse is reported to the appropriate authorities! Most turn the other way or don’t bother reporting it because they don’t think it’s that important or don’t want to go through the process. But if not you, then who? If not now, when? So here is a guide on how to easily report and deal with internet animal abuse.
- Immediately contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, at http://www.ic3.gov/. The website will direct you to the page where you can file your complaint. At first glance, it may appear that the website will only consider complaints of Internet monetary fraud. However, IC3 is the proper venue for all Internet crimes, including animal abuse.
- IC3 can best process your complaint if the information you provide is as detailed and complete as possible. This includes providing the complete URL (website address) for the website that displayed the suspected animal cruelty.
- Even if you are located outside the United States, IC3 will review your report as long as the suspected abuser is located in the United States.
- IC3 will email your report ID and password to you, along with a link to an area on the IC3 website where you can view your report and enter any additional information.
- Upon receipt of your report, IC3 will carefully evaluate it and refer it to the appropriate federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies. Every report that is referred is sent to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the matter. At that point, the report may be assigned to an investigator. IC3 cannot guarantee that your complaint will be investigated.
- Because abusive content often violates the user agreement that the creator of the website has signed with the Internet Service Provider (ISP), notifying the ISP about the abusive content may result in the website being removed from the Internet.
- To make a report to the ISP, you need to determine who hosts the website. To do that, go to http://www.domaintools.com/, enter the website URL in the “Whois Lookup” search box and click on the search button. Scroll down the results page until you find the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to the website. Then go to http://www.arin.net/(American Registry for Internet Numbers) and enter that IP address in the “Search WHOIS” box and click on the search button. The search results page will provide information about the ISP that hosts the website. The page also might display information about how to report abuse. If it does not, go to www.search.org/programs/hightech/ispand find the complete contact information for the ISP on the list. All of this information should also be included in your FBI complaint form, where possible.
- If you believe an animal is in immediate harm, and if the location is known, contact local police and your local FBI branch office as soon as possible. To locate your local FBI branch, visit http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm.
Because communications through the Internet have the ability to cross state lines, the Internet is largely governed by federal law. Improving the federal laws as they pertain to Internet animal abuse is critical. Currently, only a few federal laws address the issue directly:
- The Crush Act (P.L.106-152) penalizes the display of acts of cruelty and sexual abuse of animals that is intended for interstate commerce. If convicted, offenders may receive up to five years in prison or a large fine. Two criteria must be met before this statute applies: 1) actual abuse must occur and 2) the website in question must intend to sell the images across state lines. In other words, a website may legally display images of animal cruelty and sexual abuse under this law as long as it is not charging visitors for access or otherwise selling the images. In 2005, the first conviction under this statute occurred in a federal district court in Virginia.
- The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (P.L. 110-27) strengthens the ability of law enforcement to combat animal fighting by providing felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities, including commerce in cockfighting weapons. Each violation of this federal law is punishable by up to three years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for perpetrators.
- Internet Hunting: The Computer-Assisted Remote Hunting Act (H.R. 2711/S. 2422) is a pending federal bill introduced by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). It seeks to prohibit knowingly making available a “computer-assisted remote hunt” (using a computer or other device, equipment or software to control the aiming and discharge of a weapon to hunt).
Visit HERE to find the latest news on animal cruelty cases and laws, find local animal cruelty cases, learn how to fight animal cruelty, sign up for action alerts, and more.
I apologize for the lack of posts in recent weeks.
My cat has been diagnosed with a possible case of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). There are no definitive tests, preventions, or cures. I will be busy dealing with this along with the other requirements of my life. I won’t be posting here for the next few weeks, or until I have more (and hopefully positive) information about my cat’s health. As much as I love and want to help other animals, I want to spend time with my baby and make him feel as healthy and comfortable as possible. Please keep my kitty in your thoughts.
The blog will be back shortly, so check for updates in the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out some of my helpful links to other pages and blogs.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis is a contagious, fatal feline disease. All cat owners should be made aware of it, but few are. I had never heard of FIP until my cat was diagnosed. For more information, click: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html
This poor girl was found by a kind citizen and held for Animal Control. The officer that picked the dog up couldn’t help but cry when she saw the horrible condition the dog was in. She handfed the dog hamburgers to get her to eat. She appears to have had several litters of puppies and is probably around 3 yrs old (just a guesstimate, due to her injuries – it is hard to look at her teeth). She is a petite 36 lbs.
She was rescued by SPCA of Wake County! It is believed she received her injuries through dogfighting, yet she is a very affectionate and loving girl! She has been named Hope. Hope will go home with a foster family on Friday. She will need to go through extensive surgery and rehab, all of which the SPCA will provide!
View the SPCA’s page about Hope; learn about her injuries, find out about her surgery & care, and sign up to receive email alerts about her progress!
This is Keegan, a two-year-old blue merie Sheltie. He weighs a little over 30 lbs. He is neutered, microchipped, doggy trained, and up to date on shots. Keegan walks very well on a leash, is friendly with most dogs, and gets along great wih cats. He was turned over by his owner for “destructive behavior” and the owner did not have time to work with him. Fortunately, this problem has been solved. Keegan was born deaf, but he is very attentive and outgoing. Deaf dogs can be trained just as well as hearing dogs. He is currently learning hand signals and doing very well! He is extremely people oriented and adores his foster family. This guy will make a great best friend and addition to any household! Keegan would probably do best in a house with another dog, as the other dogs acts as an alert for Keegan since he cannot hear. Older children are also probably best for Keegan. He might require a bit more attention and special accomodations might have to be made for him, but the love and loyalty will be more than worth it in the end!
Visit Mid Arizona Shetland Sheepdog Club Rescue where Keegan is located.
Mid Arizona Shetland Sheepdog Club Rescue
Bill Ferrell: email@example.com (480)507-7996
Phyllis Watson: firstname.lastname@example.org (480)464-1269
September 22 is National Elephant Appreciation Day, and rightly so!
Did you know…
- Elephants produce offspring until they are around 50 years old.
- Elephants cry, play, and laugh.
- Elephants grieve at the loss of a fellow elephant.
- Elephants don’t actually drink with their trunks; they use them to suck up water and pour it into their mouths.
- An elephant goes through a total of 6 sets of teeth in his/her lifetime. 1 tooth can weight more than 11 lbs.
- Elephants are the only mammals that cannot jump.
Click HERE to discover more interesting facts about this majestic creature.
Unfortunately, African, Asian, and Pygmy elephants are classified as endangered species. At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants. There are now believed to be only about 1200 Pygmy elephants left in existance. Their lives are being threated at the hands of humans through illegal poaching and habitat loss. Ivory dealers are plotting to reopen legal ivory trade, meaning nearly all hope will be lost for the elephant species. Illegal hunting and black market trade are already almost too much to combat.
Fortunately, there is something we can do to help.
Many global foundations have started campaigns to conserve habitats, reduce poaching and other human related violence towards elephants, and increase protection for these animals. World Wildlife Fund has created Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy and the African Elephant Program.
Click HERE to visit World Wildlife Fund’s elephant page to learn more about the plight of this marvelous creature and ways that WWF is trying to help.
Click HERE to adopt an elephant through WWF! It makes a great gift to any wildlife/animal lover! I know I’d love one…hint, hint!
All money paid for an elephant adoption goes towards equipment and technology to protect the elephants from poachers and to other elephant conservation programs.
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September 20th is International Coastal Cleanup Day 2008. While it is a little late to join in on the activities today, there are many ways in which we can help keep the coasts and oceans clean every day of the year. If we keep the oceans clean, there won’t be so much trash washing up on shore and pulluting and destroying our beaches.
Many areas have organized cleanup days throughout the year. Check out the beaches in your area to see if there are any cleanup groups, if not, START ONE!
Click HERE to visit Justin Rudd’s 30-minute Beach Cleanup. They do beach cleanup every 3rd Saturday of the month at 10am on Belmont Shore. Everyone is welcome to join in!
Click HERE to visit the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup Day page. There’s info, interesting pictures, and stories from those who participated in this year’s cleanup.
Click HERE to visit the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s website.
Click HERE to visit a really fun site called Keep Oceans Clean.