ATLANTA — A new report from the FBI shows Georgia ranks No. 7 in the nation for animal abuse cases, but a state animal welfare advocate said those numbers aren't necessarily a bad thing.
Jessica Rock serves as the Georgia Statewide Animal Crimes prosecutor and trainer. She explains the reason for the high numbers is more people are reporting animal abuse and neglect, and law enforcement is becoming better at identifying it.
Some of the signs of animal abuse include violence with humans in the home, an animal being overly submissive or aggressive, and a pet trying to bite or scratch when petted.
Rock said you can look for certain signs of an animal may be experiencing neglect.
“A lot of times if an animal is tied up in a backyard all day long with no socialization, no human interaction, lack of adequate shelter, lack of adequate food, lack of adequate water, those are some things on the neglect side," Rock said.
Rock said Georgia has an especially high number of dogfighting and cockfighting cases to the amount of the state's rural land.
"If you see a number of dogs tied up in the woods on heavy logging chains that are close enough to each other but not touching each other, that is the sign of a dogfighting yard," Rock said. "If you see those little teepee looking things with a bunch of roosters either on tethers or in separate cages, that's a sign of a cockfighting ring. Unfortunately, we have a lot of that in Georgia."
Rock encourages you to call 911 if you suspect animal abuse or neglect.