Cruelty Prevention & Humane Education

Cruelty Prevention

 As the PA Humane Society police officer you find and punish bad pet parents. Unfortunately, pet parents are just like real parents: Although there are many good ones who give animals healthy, loving homes, there are also many bad ones who are either unwilling or unable to give animals the care they deserve. This is where Marlene comes in. Marlene is a detective who serves as a savior and voice for the animals that are neglected, diseased, abused, injured, or living in unhealthy conditions, as well as animals that are abandoned, unattended, or dangerous, including dogs, cats, livestock, horses, rabbits, and rodents. Marlene's typical day is spent receiving and responding to animal cruelty complaints from concerned citizens, which involves: investigating cruelty claims; interviewing witnesses; interrogating suspects; obtaining search and seizure warrants; documenting animals' living conditions; capturing and removing stray or abused animals from homes; transporting seized animals to shelters and veterinary offices; organizing the adoption of unclaimed animals; euthanizing rabid or suffering animals; educating the public about animal welfare; and collaborating with law enforcement to arrest and convict people who violate animal welfare laws.Marlene is more than an animal lover, she is an animal crusader, serving and protecting those that bark, meow, hiss, oink, neigh, and moo.

Reporting Animal Abuse or Neglect If you witness animal abuse or neglect, please contact Marlene immediately. Our animals rely on concerned citizens to be their eyes and ears in the community and to report the animal suffering. You can choose to remain anonymous, although giving your name to Marlene will enable her to follow up with you when necessary. She has the important job of ensuring that animals in their jurisdiction receive proper food, water, and shelter, and are protected from abandonment and cruel treatment.

How is your complaint investigated? The process may vary depending on the local laws and procedures, Marlene will look into the complaint to see if animal cruelty has been violated. If a violation has occurred, she will speak with the owner and issue a citation and give the owner a chance to correct the violation.  The majority of cruelty complaints stem from simple neglect of the animal, rather than deliberate abuse. Marlene's biggest role is being an educator to pet owners. Many times its informing well meaning, but unknowledgeable, pet owners on proper care for their pet. In rare cases, animal neglect or abuse may be extreme and require immediate intervention. Depending on the circumstances, the animals may be removed from the situation by Marlene to protect them from further harm. The case will then be presented to the prosecutor's office for further evaluation and prosecution.

What will happen to the animal and owner? State and local laws are written to protect the individuals being prosecuted as well as the animals involved. Such laws also determine how long the animal must be housed at the animal shelter or in foster care while the case is being processed. Caring for these animals seized in a cruelty case can be an expensive and time consuming effort.  

Humane Education

 Through our humane education programs, our humane officer Marlene strive to help children develop empathy and a sense of justice, increase their understanding of personal responsibility for animals, people, and the environment, and become motivated to make a positive difference in the world.  It encourages kindness and empathy for both human and nonhuman animals, and promotes understanding. We believe that by encouraging children we can help them develop humane ethics by which they can determine appropriate and inappropriate behavior and most importantly establish a sense of responsibility, making the world a better, more humane place. Sharing the love of animals also includes awareness of animal overpopulation and the reason for spaying and neutering. Our  humane educator Marlene Metzger is available to address groups on a variety of topics related to Humane Education. Programs are available for all ages. Topics include, but are not limited to: Site Visits - We can come to you, or you can come to us! We can bring a rescued dog to give your students some hands on learning experiences. We can adapt our presentation to fit the theme of your choice. Contact Marlene for education programs and to report cases of abuse or neglect:


Marlene :570-493-3377 Please note:  Complaints regarding excessive dog barking are not cruelty-related; please contact your local municipality.


How you can help animal suffering by encouraging humane education....

  • Suggest to local school officials, teachers, and community group leaders to take advantage of free humane education sessions offered by Dessin. 
  • Write to your state legislators and district prosecuting attorneys to demand maximum penalties for animal abusers
  • Urge local legislators to pass better anti-cruelty laws
  • Plant the seed of compassion. Praise children for showing kindness to animals. 
  • If you witness cruelty to animals, don't just look away! ACT!

Humane Education Links:American Humane Association - http://www.americanhumane.org/ - Great for K-12 students. All materials are available for download.PETAKids - http://www.petakids.com/ - Kids can subscribe for a free magazine. This is a cool, colorful magazine.Janies Coloring Hats - http://www.coloringhats.com/ - Fun activity where kids can color animal drawings and make them into hats