LC student brings awareness to animal cruelty


Breanna Rae Weber

Lindsay Kleckner, senior criminal justice major, stands by her display at the Sheboygan PetSmart during an adoption event with the Sheboygan County Humane Society.

Breanna Rae Weber, Chief Photographer & Website Manager

Puppy Doe was a dog found on the streets of Quincy, Mass., on Aug. 31, 2013. She had been stabbed, burned and had her tongue split. In addition, she was half her normal weight and beaten so severely she could barely move. In the end, she had to be euthanized because of the severity of her injuries.

Animal cruelty laws have taken a turn for the better since Puppy Doe’s case. However, in an article in the Boston Globe, Rob Halpin, spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell, said that before, it was a slow process to get new animal protection laws passed, but the efforts went largely unnoticed.

Lindsay Kleckner, senior criminal justice major, agrees that animal cruelty can sometimes go unnoticed, which is why she decided to base her honors project on the subject of animal cruelty. She decided to do an awareness campaign to see how much people really know about animal cruelty.

“Animal cruelty is something that does need to be addressed,” said Kleckner. “We don’t see it often in the news, but it does happen.”

Kleckner has had a life-long interest in animals. After watching “Animal Cops” on TV in high school, she knew she wanted to be a humane law enforcement officer. “It was because of those shows that I really wanted to do that job; not because of the possibility of being on TV, but because I would be rescuing animals.”

Kleckner developed a display board with facts about animal cruelty and statistics about the pets coming and going from the Sheboygan County Humane Society, which was to be displayed at animal adoption events to help promote the awareness of animal cruelty.

Her board has already been displayed at two events, including an Adoption Weekend at PetSmart.

The display was also accompanied by a survey at both events. A majority of those who participated in the survey said that the total number of abuse cases in Sheboygan is about the same as what they would expect it to be.

“Also, people wanted to see more displays about caring for animals and the risks to animals,” said Kleckner.

After her project, she plans to donate the display to the Sheboygan County Humane Society.

“Most situations that turn into animal cruelty can be solved first through education, rather than arrest,” said Kleckner. “My biggest goal as a humane law enforcement officer is to do all that I can do to rescue animals from cruelty situations, but to also educate the public.”