Monthly Archives: May 2022

Professional Footballer, Kurt Zouma, Facing Three Cruelty Charges For Slapping And Kicking Pet Cat

Professional footballer, Kurt Zouma, is facing three offenses under the Animal Welfare Act, for slapping and kicking his cat. Video footage of the incident was posted to Snapchat and it shows the 27-year-old West Ham star slapping the cat in the face and kicking it across the kitchen floor.

Zouma’s brother, 23-year-old Yoan, is reportedly the person filming the disturbing February 6 incident; he is facing two counts of ‘aiding and abetting’ animal cruelty.

After the incident, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) took possession of Zouma’s two cats; the cats remain in the animal-welfare agency’s care. West Ham, the Premier League club that Zouma plays for, fined him two weeks’ wages but allowed him to continue to play.

Zouma has faced harsh criticism from animal lovers who are appalled by his behavior.

Update 6/01/2022:

Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service.
He has been banned from keeping cats for five years.
He was told to pay nearly £9,000 in court costs.

Sky Sports


Mississippi Governor Signs ‘Buddy’s Law’

Last week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed the Buddy’s Law initiative, which strengthens protections for dogs and cats in the state. Buddy’s Law was inspired by the abuse of Buddy the dog, who was severely burned by a 12-year-old juvenile in April 2021.

Buddy’s burns were so bad that he had to spend nearly a year in recovery at the Mississippi State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

The law mandates that children who abuse animals receive psychiatric evaluation and treatment. On May 19, Senator Michael W. McLendon issued a jubilant Facebook post about Buddy’s Law’s passage:

Rockstar in the Senate! Buddy’s Law was signed by Gov. Reeves today and shortly after, Buddy found the secret stash of treats in my desk. Many thanks goes out to all involved in making this a reality…especially Senator Angela Burks Hill (author of the bill), Tunica HumaneSociety, Dr. Lisa Godfrey & Dr. Elizabeth Swanson and their teams for Buddy’s amazing care and rehabilitation.

Tunica Humane Society, the animal welfare agency that helped Buddy survive, commented on the passage of Buddy’s Law, writing:

What a great honor for Buddy to be the inspiration for change in our state law, concerning under age children that commit acts of cruelty to animals. They will now be required by law, to undergo mental evaluation.
A special thank you to Senator Angela Hill for not giving up on Buddy’s Law when it failed in the House. She fought back and saw it through to the finish line. And I must say thank you to our Army of #BuddyStrong supporters. Your voices were clearly heard in the Capitol.
Victory is ours. Buddy’s Law is now a reality and we could not be more grateful.

Buddy has fully recovered from his burns and now enjoys living the life of a normal dog. The law that he inspired goes into effect on July 1.




Payton Gendron, Teen Behind Buffalo Mass Shooting, Journaled About Beheading A Cat

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old man accused of killing 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, documented his own vicious killing of a cat. In an online journal, Gendron provided grisly details about the manner in which he killed the cat, who he claimed had attacked his own family cat, Paige.

As reported by the New York Post, Gendron’s journal stated :

“I quickly enter and the gray cat was attacking her. I then spent the next hour and a half chasing the cat around the garage and stabbing it with my knife (the camo one).”

He went on to explain exactly how many times he stabbed the cat’s neck until the head came off, and he posted grim photos of the mutilated cat, and his own face covered in the cat’s blood. He proceeded to explain that he felt nothing after killing the cat, stating “I thought I would be in pain but I literally just feel blank.”

Gendron is accused of committing a hate crime at the Buffalo supermarket – live streaming the violent massacre on Twitch. The teen’s prior act of animal cruelty perfectly highlights the documented link between animal abuse and human violence; one of the many reasons that Animal Victory pushes for substantial punishment for animal abusers.




California Woman Rescues Kitten, But Soon Realizes Her Mistake

Rocklin, CA – A California woman recently rescued what she believed was an adorable kitten. But it didn’t take long before she realized the error of her ways. The Rocklin Police Department said:

A Rocklin resident got quite a surprise last week after realizing a tiny “kitten” she had rescued turned out to be a fox kit.

It was a concerned family member who realized that the frightened animal was not an orphaned kitten. The authorities said:

A concerned family member called us after seeing the scared little guy and Animal Control responded to transport the critter to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue.

Offering sage advice to anyone who happens to find orphaned or injured wildlife:

1. If in the Placer County, CA area, visit our website immediately for guidance and further information at

2. If outside of the area, check the roster for wildlife rehabilitators for each U.S. state at…/how-find-wildlife… or

3. Keep the animal in a warm (NOT HOT), dark, quiet place away from children and animals/pets. Then get it to the nearest wildlife rehab center immediately.


Shelter Dog Credited With Saving Foster Mom’s Unborn Baby

Illinois – An animal welfare agency in Illinois has hailed one of their homeless dogs a hero. On May 16, Gateway Pet Guardians recounted the amazing way that Jack, a mixed breed dog, helped save his foster mom’s unborn baby. The agency explained:

It’s amazing how far dogs will go to take care of their human companions ❤ Adoptable Jack’s foster mom, Aisha recently shared that he saved the life of her unborn baby. At eight months pregnant and just after the baby turned into cephalic presentation (head-down position), Jack repeatedly started nudging his nose up under Aisha’s belly.

The intuitive dog whined while nudging Aisha’s belly, and then headed towards the car. Fearing that something was amiss, Aisha went to the hospital and there she learned that her baby’s heartbeat was low. The organization said:

Because Jack sensed and alerted her there was a problem, Aisha was able to seek medical care in time to receive treatment and continue carrying her pregnancy to term.

Jack is still waiting to be adopted. According to the rescue group, Aisha is a dedicated foster, but she is not in the position to keep Jack forever. They have indicated that there are multiple people interested in giving Jack a home:

Courtney Michelle Aisha is such a dedicated foster mama and she will have her hands full as a first-time mom. Jack has had a few meet + greets so we are confident he will land a forever home soon!

You can find Gateway Pet Guardians on Facebook here.

K9 Ruby, Featured In Netflix Movie, Unexpectedly Euthanized

A shelter dog who turned into a heroic police K9, unexpectedly had to be euthanized last week. The Rhode Island State Police announced the death of K9 Ruby via social media on Sunday, writing:

We’re saddened to announce the passing of K-9 Ruby following a sudden, acute, and untreatable illness.

According to a press release, the 11 1/2-year-old dog, who was adopted from the Rhode Island SPCA, was euthanized on Friday. Colonel Darnell S. Weaver, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, said:

“Today the Rhode Island State Police family is mourning the death of K-9 Ruby. Her partnership with Corporal O’Neil was a special one and their search and rescue work in our K-9 Unit was a great service to the Rhode Islanders who have needed their help. Her award-winning rescue inspired us and we are grateful for her years of service.”

Ruby was one of the first shelter dogs trained to serve with the Rhode Island State Police; she served for 11 years. Weaver added,

“K-9 Ruby dedicated her life to serve the citizens of Rhode Island and make a positive impact on every person she ever interacted with. She became a symbol of hope for all shelter dogs, showing the world what a shelter dog can do when just given love and the chance to shine.”

In late 2017 Ruby successfully located a lost and distressed teenager who was the son of a shelter volunteer who had cared for her as a puppy. As a result of this rescue, Ruby was named American Humane Hero Dog Search and Rescue Dog of the Year in 2018. Her story was made into the 2022 Netflix movie, “Rescued by Ruby.”

Ruby lived with Corporal O’Neil and his family. She will be honored privately.

Firefighters Save Baby Deer From Being Struck On Road

North Saanich, BC, Canada – Two baby deer, weighing just a few pounds each, were saved from being struck on a roadway in British Columbia last Friday. The North Saanich Fire Department shared the rescue effort with social media followers.

The fire department was alerted to the situation by a concerned passerby who witnessed the mother cross the oftentimes busy roadway. Department chief John Trelford said that the caller was worried that the fawns would be hit by a car when they tried to reach their mother.

The firefighters wore gloves to avoid getting their scent on the babies and carefully carried them to the side of the road where their mother was anxiously waiting.

The mother came over to her babies as soon as the firefighters left the area. The rescue effort was shared on social media, much to the delight of those who follow the fire department’s Tweets.

Great work firefighters!

Beloved Polar Bear, Orphaned As A Cub, Humanely Euthanized

Tacoma, WA – A beloved polar bear, taken in by the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium after being orphaned as a cub, has died. According to a release from the zoo, the 26-year-old bear, Blizzard, was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2021 and recently, his health took a rapid turn for the worse.

Dr. Karen Wolf, the zoo’s head veterinarian, said that the difficult decision to euthanize Blizzard was made when it was apparent that his quality of life was deteriorating. After his death, a necrospy revealed that the cancerous mass on his liver had grown to the size of a giant watermelon.

Point Defiance Zoo director Alan Varsik commented on the zoo’s tremendous loss:

“The entire Point Defiance Zoo family is devastated by the loss of this extraordinary bear. Blizzard held a special place in our hearts and touched the lives of millions of people during the two decades he was with us. He inspired people to care deeply about polar bears and to take action in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint and help protect wild polar bears.”

Blizzard arrived at the Point Defiance Zoo in 1997, after being orphaned in Canada. The zoo explained:

“He’d been separated from his mother on the Arctic tundra and had no chance of survival.”

Assistant curator Sheriden Ploof, one of Blizzard’s primary caregivers, shared thoughts about the beloved bear:

“Blizzard was feisty, smart and always eager to learn new things. He loved pouncing, playing with his big barrels, splashing in his pool, and practicing his stalking and hunting skills. He was an exceptional animal who will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.”

At 26 years of age, Blizzard exceeded the median life expectancy for polar bears in the care of humans.

Rest in peace Blizzard.


Lucky Cat Survives Harrowing Ride In Car Engine

Baltimore, MD – A cat is lucky to be alive after getting stuck in a car engine and going for an unexpected ride. Days ago, the BARCS animal shelter shared photos of the fortunate feline, who surely used up one of his nine lives in the frightening ordeal.

The shelter’s May 9 Facebook post explains what transpired:

At 7 am on Thursday morning, Baltimore resident Mike P. was awoken by a strange yowling sound. When he looked out his bedroom window, he saw a broken down car parked outside with its hood open. He waited a moment, and then, the howling began again. It occurred to Mike that the noise was coming from the car.

Mike went outside to talk to the driver of the car and learned that after approximately 10 minutes of driving, and hearing an “odd sound,” he pulled over to investigate. Together, the pair searched the engine compartment and discovered the source of the sound.

they found that a cat was stuck in the engine compartment. The cat was firmly stuck, howling continually from the heat and pain of his terrible situation.

Freeing the trapped cat proved to be a task greater than the pair could accomplish on their own. The shelter recounted what happened next, writing:

They called emergency services, and Mike ran inside to get tools and a hydraulic jack. Unfortunately, the cat could not be removed without the assistance of the fire department and Baltimore City Animal Control. After they arrived, it took over an hour to free the cat–with all hands on deck.

The shelter dubbed the cat “Pattycake,” and shared his injuries from the car engine:

(he) had burns covering his underside and ulcerations on all four paw pads. His skin was peeling and his fur was covered in soot; he even had soot in his mouth.

After a few days of veterinary care, Pattycake began to heal. The shelter found a microchip, but the cat’s owner has not yet been found. The shelter said:

As for Pattycake’s family, he did have a microchip, but it hasn’t yet led us to an owner. So, if he looks familiar or you have any information about his potential owners, please get in contact with us! The rescue happened in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of the city.

Find BARCS on Facebook at this link.

Kitten Recuperating After Being Rescued From Dumpster Fire

Happy update! Savannah has been adopted.

Las Vegas, Nevada – A young kitten, just four weeks of age, is recuperating after being rescued from a dumpster fire.  The Animal Rescue Foundation took in the singed feline, dubbed Savannah, earlier this month and promptly gave her the veterinary care that she needed.

As soon as she was stable, Savannah was transferred to a foster home where she could heal from her wounds. Though her burns are deeper than were initially believed, Savannah is proving herself to be a survivor. The animal welfare agency said,

The good news is Savannah is eating and growing. Her foster mom says she has a great appetite, and her weight is good.

You can follow Savannah’s progress at this link.

The Link Between Domestic Violence And Animal Abuse-MAY

Kentucky and Washington are the latest states to define coercive-control animal abuse as domestic and dating violence, and to include pets in protection-from-abuse orders. Judicial officials in Delaware are considering how to implement cross-reporting, pet protection orders and questions about pets in initial screenings. Louisiana’s animal shelters need to make Link-based improvements. And new guidances from the UK, US and Canada help veterinarians respond to suspected domestic violence and animal abuse. All this – and much more – is in your May LINK-Letter, which you can read by clicking here:


–   Kentucky calls coercive animal abuse domestic and dating violence, implements pet protective orders

–   Washington adds threat to pets to definition of domestic violence crimes

–   Arizona Humane Society gets $700,000 grant to help pet survivors of domestic violence

–   New York’s Urban Resource Institute gets $65,000 grant for pet park at domestic violence shelter

–   US Office of Victims of Crimes announces $3,500,000 in grants for survivors and pets



–   Delaware judges and legislators addressing Link issues


ELDER ABUSE and The Link

–   Houston collaboration to help vulnerable adults and animals



–   UK Link guidance expands focus on suspected domestic violence

–   Canadian Veterinary Journal reviews animal abuse reporting issues

–   Six-step process for responding to suspected abuse published



–   Participants sought for research study on AAT with abused youths



–  ASPCA offering seed grants on cruelty research and psychological trauma

–  Latin American Link review calls for One Health/One Welfare work

–  Australian study reports high correlations of animal abuse and IPV

–  Trauma-informed practice for animal shelters similar to child abuse/domestic violence workers



–   Audit of Louisiana’s shelters cites needs for Link-based improvements



–   6-part webinar series introduces humane and human services to each other

–   “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” webcast features The Link




We’re watching an amazing 141 bills that have already been introduced in state legislatures and Congress – 8 of which have already been signed into law.



–   Physical therapist gets 4 life sentences for killing family and dog

–   New Jersey man faces prison for killing ex’s pets

–   Foster parents and abusive teen convicted in child’s murder

–   Iowa man charged with killing cats to torture his girlfriend

–   3 people and family dog killed in apparent murder-suicide

–   Woman accused of using cat to scratch girlfriend’s face

–   3 charged in shooting dog that attacked their duck

–   Ex-con charged with child & animal porn and weapons offenses

–   Texas man charged murdering neighbor over stray dog complaint

–   Accused man re-arrested for allegedly drowning puppies

–   Minnesota murder-suicide claims 4 family members and dog

–   Sheriff seeks suspect in rape and shooting her dog as they escaped

–   Florida men jailed for “atrocious” child and animal pornography


plus 26 TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES where you can learn more about how animal abuse is a sentinel indicator and predictor of human violence.


Please share the issue with your colleagues and send me your news and names of any associates who would also like to receive The LINK-Letter. Thanks for helping us to make a difference in protecting vulnerable people, animals and communities.


Phil Arkow, Coordinator

The National LINK Coalition –

The National Resource Center on The LINK between Animal Abuse and Human Violence

16 Grasshopper Drive

Etowah, NC 28729



Wildlife Officials Struggling To Capture ‘Unnaturally Large’ Bear Wearing Collar That Failed To Fall Off

Washington – Wildlife officials in Washington state have been struggling to find and capture an “unnaturally large” black bear who is wearing a non-functioning GPS tracking collar that failed to fall off when it was supposed to.

Because of the bear’s size, and the existence of a collar that did not come off as planned, officials are concerned that the collar might be too tight around the bear’s neck. The bear has been spotted in the Issaquah area, and officials have set baited culvert traps in an attempt to capture him, but thus far the quest to catch him has proven to be fruitless.

Wildlife officials hope to find the bear not only for his own well-being but also because he has been a bit too comfortable around homes in the Issaquah area. In an email, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Chase Gunnell explained:

‘This bear has been repeatedly getting into garbage and other human-caused attractants and has become quite portly faster than it would feeding on natural food sources,. The bear’s feeding behavior and use of suburban areas also presents a potential for human-bear conflict.”

Anyone who spots a bear, in the Cougar or Squak Mountain area, is asked to contact WDFW at 360-902-2936 or

Hugging Dogs, Rescued From ‘Deplorable Conditions,’ Adopted To New Homes

Lake County, Ohio – A trio of dogs, rescued from conditions described as “deplorable,” are getting a second chance at a good life after being adopted. The dogs, a mother and two pups, were rescued in March from a yard in Youngstown – the Animal Charity of Ohio recounted the situation:

Thankfully a concerned citizen called YPD today after seeing 3 dogs, a mom and 2 puppies hidden from view on the southside of Youngstown. They immediately called our humane agent to investigate.
Our humane agent arrived and removed all 3 from the deplorable conditions they were being housed in.

Because the dogs had been isolated, they were frightened and lacked social skills. A photo of the hugging puppies revealed the depth of their fear.

But time, patience, and love have paid off. As reported by WKBN News, the trio was recently adopted from the Lake Humane Society.

(Image via Facebook/Animal Charity of Ohio)

Family Rescues ‘Distressed, Lost Puppy’ But He Wasn’t Quite What They Bargained For

A family recently rescued what they thought was a distressed, lost puppy, who was wandering near a busy road. But the pup wasn’t quite what they bargained for.

According to the Cape Wildlife Center, the family reached out for help after realizing that they had actually taken in a coyote pup. In a post to social media, the wildlife agency said:

The Eastern Coyote pup was separated from his family last week and was found wandering and distressed by the side of a busy road. He was then accidentally taken home by a local family after they mistakenly identified him as a lost puppy. After realizing their mix up they called us for assistance.

The agency worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure that the coyote pup did not pose a rabies risk and they were cleared to rehab the pup by Mass Wildlife. The agency stated:

He is now recovering comfortably in one of our isolation wards, but will not be on his own for long! A foster sibling has just arrived from @riwildliferehab and they will soon be introduced.

As soon as the pups receive their vaccinations, they will be raised together. The agency said that the pups “will be given a chance to grow and learn natural behaviors in our large outdoor caging. We work hard to give them as much of a natural upbringing as possible, and will work to replicate the essential behaviors and skills they learn from mom and dad.”

While this story has a happy ending, the wildlife agency warns that it could have ended much differently because coyotes are considered to be “rabies vectors” in Massachusetts:

If the finders had been bitten, scratched, or had extended contact we would have been mandated to euthanize the pup and test for rabies. We are grateful to every single person who takes time out of their day to help wildlife when they are need, but we always encourage people to call the appropriate resources prior to intervening, it can help Keep all involved safe!

(Image via Facebook/Cape Wildlife Center)


No Life Too Small, Rescuers Save Kitten Who Fell Into Storm Drain

Baltimore, MD – On Tuesday morning, a small kitten was rescued after getting stuck in a storm drain. It took a team to free the tiny feline from the drain at Orleans and Broadway.

Engine Company No. 6, members of the Department of Public Works, Baltimore Police, and Animal Control worked together to save the kitten.

According to Fox Baltimore, the kitten will now have a home because one of the firefighters is planning to adopt!

Zoo Mourns Loss Of Beloved ‘Sunshine’ Bear, Sundance

Columbia, SC – On Saturday, April 30, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden announced the death of a beloved grizzly bear named Sundance. In a release, the zoo noted that Sundance was a favorite for visitors:

It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of one of Riverbanks’ most beloved animals. Sundance, one of our two grizzly bears, passed away early today after a recent decline in health. Sundance and his brother Butch have lived at Riverbanks since the boys were about 9 months old and during that time have become a guest favorite and loved by so many in the community.

Sundance was “fondly known” as the zoo’s sunshine bear. The zoo wrote of his sweet demeanor, stating that he had a “gentle disposition, (and) kind eyes,” and revealing that he enjoyed interacting with his keepers.

Sharing his endearing antics:

He was an expert napper and could dig the perfect hole for reclining comfortably. Sundance loved to wrestle with his brother Butch and always kept an eye on his brother’s hole digging. Keepers joked that he was Butch’s foreman and oversaw all his hard work.

The zoo staff is mourning the bear who touched so many lives, noting that he was an “amazing ambassador” who inspired guests to protect and conserve nature.

The zoo stated:

He was a treasure and will be missed tremendously.

(Photo via Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Facebook page)