Veterinarian gives which dog abuse signs to look for

Posted at 10:20 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2017-03-02 17:38:05-05

Seeing the video of a Baylor football player abusing his dog has many people outraged, but when we asked what three signs of dog abuse are -- some central Texas were not too sure. 

"I guess signs that a dog has been abused ... what do you think Josh," Greg Gerald, Woodway resident confusingly asked his son. 

"Thankfully I don’t know three off the top of my head, because I’ve been around a lot of great situations with animals," said Steven Soranson -- slightly dodging the question. 

Veterinarian LuAnn Ervin said dogs can display signs of abuse both physically and mentally. "Of course you have the immediate injury to the animal can be broken bones, internal damage, organ damage, cuts lacerations, bruising," the doctor said. 

But Ervin said if you are only looking for signs of abuse you may not notice that a dog could be in danger. "Mental effects would be animals becoming aggressive, fearful when people approach, this could be animals that don’t eat well."

Other signs the veterinarian said concerned people should look for are if the dog:

  • becomes mistrustful
  • acts strangely toward certain groups (like men or women)
  • becomes a "fear biter", which means the dog bites when people try to touch it

The doctor said there are only four people in the state of Texas who are certified to act on the behalf of animal welfare. Ervin said there are only three who are certified animal behaviorist -- and one of them is dedicated to military dogs. 

But  she adds that even if you do know all of the signs that a dog is being abused, getting help for for that dog may be more difficult than you think.

"The state laws are really just not very helpful there because they’re too vague and not specific enough," she said. "Trying to get a movement on a person or a situation can be very difficult. There are animal leagues that can come in and look at a situation."

The veterinarian said that any one who is considering getting a dog should realize one very important thing: "Don’t get one if you’re not ready and fully vested in taking this responsibility on."

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