I'll be honest. Most days lately, I feel like my dog Riley is the only living soul I can even tolerate, let alone love. Goodness knows the unconditional love he returns is far more than I deserve.

Most of us feel this way about our pets. We'd do anything to protect them and take care of them, but we're normal. It's devastating to hear of people who are not. People who would commit unfathomable acts of abuse on these animals. If you think you've heard a lot more about them lately, unfortunately, you're right.

KCRG reports that the Cedar Rapids Police Department confirms between January 1 and  July of this year, 2021, there were more cases of animal abuse reported in the first six months of this year than last. 11 compared to 4, respectively, and nine of the 11 have led to an arrest.

The most high-profile among these was likely the case of Kimble. On Thursday, April 8, 22-year-old Jayden Cliff was arrested on charges of Animal Abuse Causing Serious Injury after grabbing Kimble, throwing him to the ground, and kicking him. The Golden Retriever sustained serious injuries, including fractures. Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids reports that Kimble has been recovering well and is living happily with a new foster family.

But there have been other stories, too.

Officer Chris Collins of the CRPD is involved in investigating the department's animal abuse cases and says the increase is partly due to new state law opening doors for investigations. A new law was passed stating "if an animal was seriously injured or killed as a result of abuse or neglect, the crime would be an aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison."

“That’s given the police department more of an opportunity to investigate and charge at a state level rather than a city level,” said Collins

Collins also said there has been increased training in these cases for officers and growing social media communication from the community, which has helped.

Prior to this new level of ability to investigate, I shudder to think how much of this has gone on unreported. Many thanks to the Cedar Rapids Police Department and other law enforcement agencies for making sure justice is brought to these animals and their abusers.

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