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Friday, October 15, 2010

REPORTING INTERNET ANIMAL CRUELTY, ABUSE, AND CRIMES

Today, I was alerted to a website on the Internet that had a photo of a dog fight, videos of dogs training, dogs fighting with dogs, and a dog fighting with a cat.  I was unsure about what to do with the information that I had discovered.  Fortunately and coincidentally, this morning, I had made a new Facebook acquaintance who guided me through the process the way it should be done.

My first instinct was to rant and rave at the website or page owner for participating in such awful and illegal deeds, and sharing it with my friends to do the same.  This is the opposite of what should be done, and fortunately, I did not follow this instinct.  The link I discovered happened to be a Facebook page.  I could have befriended this creep with the intentions of posting my outrage for his actions on his "wall" and calling him every dirty word in the book.  This would not have been very effective.  He may have fed off of all the attention I was giving him, or he could simply delete my remarks.  This would not be proactive.

I could have reported him to Facebook.  Facebook has a report button on the bottom of each page and photo.  Reporting him to Facebook may result in the removal of the offending photos or videos or remarks.  It may lead to the cancellation of the account belonging to the person who posted the offending information by the Facebook team.  Surprisingly, this action is also an extremely ineffective method of punishment for the offender. Removal of the information from Facebook, by Facebook personnel or any other website involved, may lead to permanent removal of the evidence which is required for prosecution for such internet crimes.  He would continue to do what he does, and possibly open another website.
The proper method of reporting Internet animal cruelty, abuse, and crimes will work for offensive Facebook pages as well as any other website on the Internet. 



The main things you must NOT do:

1. DO NOT CONTACT THE WEBSITE OWNER.  While it may be mildly therapeutic to tell them what you think of them and their actions, you will be alerting them to their discovery and they may remove the offensive information.

2. DO NOT FLAG THE WEBSITE FOR REMOVAL FROM A PUBLIC SITE such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or others, as that may permanently delete evidence needed to build a case against the offender.

3. DO NOT SHARE the information with others, because they may act in either of the above ways which will defeat your purpose.  Sharing the website may also increase traffic to the website in question which may support the offender or excite the offender.

4. DO NOT CREATE AN ONLINE PETITION for the same reasons as listed above.

Now you must collect your evidence

Collect as much information as possible.  If you are lacking some of the information listed below, you should still share the information that you do have, and a link to the website with the appropriate reporting agency.

1. Download as much of the information from the website, IE photos, videos, etc. as you can and save them. 

2. Print out copies of the offending pages. 

3. Be sure to have as much personal information on the person running the website as possible including, but not limited to, the name, contact information, and location. 

4. Try to determine if the offender is within the United States or elsewhere. 
5. Try to determine the offender's ISP address.  You can do this at http://www.dnsstuff.com/ .  Instructions for using dnsstuff are here http://www.peta.org/action/get-active-online/cruelty-on-the-internet.aspx .  I was unable to obtain this information for my report, so this is not a mandatory step. 

Animal Cruelty Within the US

You would follow these instructions to report a US based crime, even if you are not a resident of the US or are not located within the US at the time of the discovery.


To report an animal cruelty or abuse crime that takes place within the United States, report the incident to the FBI.  You must include as much information as you can including links to the offending material, names, locations, etc.  The submission page for crime tips for the FBI is https://tips.fbi.gov/ . 

You should also report a US based animal cruelty website to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, also known as IC3. To file a complaint, go to this page http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx .  There is no category for animal abuse, so choose a category and explain the situation in the notes. As much information as possible should be included in the report including links to the offending website.

Other resources for reporting Internet animal abuse, especially if you believe an animal to be in danger at the current time IE livestreaming video, and you know the location of the offending party, include reporting to the local police and the possible offender's local FBI branch which can be determined here... http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field .

Animal Cruelty Outside of the US

If the crime is not within the US, it should be reported to INTERPOL. You must include as much information as you can including links to the offending material, names, locations, etc.  The submission page for crime tips for INTERPOL is http://www.interpol.int/public/contact.asp .

For animal cruelty within the UK, The RSPCA ( Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals    ) has a 24 hour hotline available for such incidents.  From within the UK, you can call the cruelty line at 0300 1234 999 .



Some International Humane Organizations accept Internet Animal Cruelty Reports such as:

HSUS Email sramsey@hsus.org

PETA Email info@peta.org


Here are some websites with additional information regarding the reporting of online animal abuse and cruelty:

http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/fact-sheets/internet-animal-abuse.html

http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/online-cruelty.html

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/abuse_neglect/tips/internet_animal_cruelty.html

and

http://www.peta.org/action/get-active-online/cruelty-on-the-internet.aspx

The following is interesting information from the American Humane Website that defines what animal related actions are considered to be illegal over the Internet:

"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. (It has come to my attention that this Act has been nullified by our supreme court.  Please read more at http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/10/crush-videos-silent-but-deadly.html .)


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)."

If you are aware of information that I should include in this blog, or if I have posted incorrect information, feel free to discuss it with me so I can correct it.  I want this information to be as complete, accurate, and effective as possible. 

While I cannot guarantee that any of these organizations will act or respond in the way we hope or expect them to, we must do our part to get the wheel in motion.  Do not let your silence let an animal abuser go unpunished. 

The link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence has been recognized by human medical professionals.  We must stop the perpetuation and escalation of such horrific actions at the most basic level.  I hope this information helps guide someone in their fight, in the way I was guided today.  Thank you CH, you know who you are!
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19 comments:

Tammy Hartwig said...

Thank you so much for this information!

I believe you are speaking of the same page concerning legalizing dog fighting that I somehow ended up becoming a fan of. I'm have NO idea how that happened but thankfully someone I don't even know wrote to me to ask why I could be for such a thing when I am definitely in the business of saving the lives of dogs.

I guess I definitely did the wrong thing and clicked the "unlike" button but, I will know better in the future thanks to you!

Tammy Hartwig

Immydog said...

No, I actually found a guy that was posting video of dog fighting, training and stuff. But I did also send a message about the Legalize Dog Fighting pages on facebook, and reporting them to facebook.

Marguerite McGrath said...

Thank you for posting this. I was linked with someone on facebook who seemed to spend a lot of her time looking for these kinds of pages on facebook, and posting disgusting, nauseating images and screaming for people to get the page shut down and to sign petitions. She deleted me as a friend when I sent her a link to an article written by a vet about debarking. (That vet recommended against it except for extreme circumstances).

I have shared this post on facebook and I hope others will pick it up and share it as well.

Tammy Hartwig said...

Thank you for ALL you do!!
I tried to find the page again so that I could document things and report it but I couldn't. So I am left thinking that perhaps facebook did ban it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for re-posting Marla Stormwolf-Patty's blog. You may wish to give proper credit. You may also wish to update your info.

Anonymous said...

The dog fighting website is still up. has anyone documented it and reported to authorities outside of Facebook? Thanks for your suggestions on how to handle from this website.

C4 said...

I used to work for a social network in the community management/moderation department, and the only way to get the content removed from Social sites is to flag it. But don't worry - it doesn't disappear. Most Social Networks only SOFT delete offensive or illegal content, which means it still exists but it is invisible to regular site users. They do this for the same reason your post says not to report it - for evidence, in case any legal issues arise.

Immydog said...

Thank you C4 for the information on how social networks softly delete the information. That helps us to understand more.
Anonymous 1, several people have reported it including myself, to Interpol.
Anonymous 2, I had never heard of Marla's blog. I researched the internet for reporting internet animal cruelty, and this is the information I uncovered. Each source I used is linked to the information. Thanks, but I think when multiple people cover the same topic, there will be overlap.

Anonymous said...

Uh...I don't know who gave you your information...but the FBI and Interpol don't give a fuck about animal abuse. Additionally, "reporting" it to HSUS or PETA is pretty silly because they can't *DO* anything about it.

If in the US, you need to contact the person's LOCAL police department. If international, you're prob. SOL but it couldn't hurt to check into the animal cruelty laws and contact their local law enforcement.

amber-dragon-64 said...

Thank you ever so much for the information. If the abuse is in the UK you can also report it to the R.S.P.C.A http://www.rspca.org.uk/ they work in tandem with the police and the courts in the UK to prosecute animal abusers here.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou 4 this crucial info on animal abusers. It literally sickens me to see any animal exploited by perverts.

Immydog said...

Dear Anonymous...
Here is Marla's blog,
http://blogs.myspace.com/rheya8
While the recommendations in each follow the same structure, the content is not.
However, I did use this American Humane page as a reference, and I now notice that it is word for word the same as Marla's blog.
http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/fact-sheets/internet-animal-abuse.html
I admire greatly what Marla does to stop crush videos. Thank you for introducing me to her blog.

Avalon Crossby said...

thanks a lot for this link... i just HOPE people follow your instructions because without following these steps nothing will ever be done.
And for the record, the FBI and Interpol DO care about animal abuse, they just have trouble convicting people of it when they don't have enough evidence!!! That's why these steps are SO crucial!!!

Anonymous said...

There is a man in Indonesia Danny Lie on Facebook, have you checked it out.. I found it from the site:Dog fighting is not a sport. here's link for you!

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000322143591&ref=mf

Hope you can do something for this, I reported it to intrpol and some other links taht you recommended on this site!

dolphinelle said...

Thank you for this great insight and I will bookmark this page for future reference. I just happen to come across a FB video of some kids setting a dog on fire last year. I will now share and share this page. Thank you once again.

Anonymous said...

I was just browsing here and there and got to read this post. I must say that my luck is favoring me today or else getting such a wonderful writing to read was never achievable for me, at least. Really appreciate your writing.

annaica said...

the interpol link is not working, could you direct me to the right link? please post it on my blog so i can keep it :) TY

Anonymous said...

i found this page on facebook and it is really disturbing i reported it to facebook but no action has been taken yet.....if you copy and paste this link it will take you directly to this person's page. I hope you can get some kind of justice for the poor kitty's he is hurting.

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jaime-Ferrero/286802788044884

sorry i just posted a comment but forgot to put the link to the person who im complaining abouts page...but that is it that i put above :)