As social media platforms expand, animal abusers more likely to get caught

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WEST HAVEN -- Animal shelter personnel say the numbers of animals abused is not necessarily increased, the numbers of abusers caught has, thanks to social media.

Many animals in animal shelters have been subjected to abuse. That's one reason social media is so valuable.

"It's just insane the reach that these posts end up getting just from Facebook, just from people liking and sharing," said Shannon Rose, an Animal Control Officer for West Haven.

But, the shelters are thankful for all shares and likes because, they said,  those who abuse animals typically don't stop there.

There's a correlation between people who abuse animals but then move up to abuse people and a lot of times children," said Laura Burban, Director of the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter in Branford.

Burban's shelter is still searching for the person or people responsible for Hope being found emaciated three weeks ago.. But, social media did help Rose track down a woman who recently dumped a dog in West Haven.

"I was able to get her license plate and I had surveillance video of her in my lobby and I was able to share that on social media," said Rose.

Social Media also helped "Hank,"  another West Haven dog. He was left hooked to a fence in a local park in February.

"We did end up tracking down the owner," said Rose. But, charges were never pressed.

"I think she was down on really, really hard times and just made a bad decision," added Rose.

In East Hartford, last weekend, these two pit bulls were left at Martin Park. Both were malnourished and with skin issues.

"The more people that are sharing it, the more likely somebody's going to come forward and say they know something," said Burban.

Social media awareness also contributed to the substantial increase in the reward being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for leaving Hope in a helpless condition. The pot is now up over $10,000.

"We think the more money we raise the more likely someone is going to step forward," said Burban.