San Diego, CA

Vigilante San Diego Animal Control on The Rise - San Diego, CA

J. Maginot

A Troubling Increase in Animal Cruelty Has San Diego Social Media Exasperated

Image via Envato Elements

San Diego social media channels have recently noted an uptick in brazen violence toward animals leaving many local residents wondering what can be done.

Image Courtesy of Richard Korn

It's widely known that San Diego's abundant open space means that we share our community with many wild companions, but experts and law enforcement warn against taking matters into your own hands as the subject in the photo above has done.

In the security photo posted on social media a man is pictured with a gas powered spear gun standing next to two plastic bags containing dead animals. While jarring, this overnight act of violence in the North Park area is by no means an isolated incedent.

Recent Spate of Animal Abuse Cases

In 2018 the San Diego County District Attorney's office allocated resources to open an office dedicated to cases of animal abuse. In the first year of operation DA Summer Stephan announced that 53 cases of animal abuse had been successfully prosecuted.

In conjunction with the San Diego Humane Society, a public awareness campaign called "Look Out, Speak Up" was also launched to bring awareness of increased animal abuse within the county.

While the extra resources are a good start, the abuse trend is far from over. Just some of the recent animal cruetly cases under investigation:

The San Diego Humane society's impact report for fiscal year 2020 shows an increases across nearly all humane law enforcement metrics measured. Some starkly increasing between fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

Humane Law Enforcement citations jumped from 134 in 2019 to 435 in 2020. While increased enforcement accounts for some of the increase in prosecutions and citations, the pandemic is another source of animal welfare concerns.

COVID-19's Impact on Animals

Image via Envato Elements

The added stress of COVID-19 and related lockdowns also dramatically impacted nearly all aspects of our pet's lives.

According to the World Health Organization there is no documented evidence that pets are carriers or transmitters of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, that hasn't stopped certain individuals from inferring a link.

As a result, wild animals and pets are at marked increased risk from the type of vigilante San Diego animal control pictured above.

2020's lockdown also saw increased risk of domestic violence, and more often than not, that domestic violence ends up directly harming pets. According to a 2008 Australian study, 53% of domestic abuse victims reported that animals in the home were also abused.

An unintended consequence of COVID-19 has been animals left outside to exercise on their own or allowed to roam free. This leaves them vulnerable to predators, both animal and human.

Combatting Local San Diego Animal Abuse

The first step to solving any problem is the admission of the problem itself. The reason DA Stephan's office set up the animal cruelty prosecution unit is that San Diego has a long running and ongoing problem with animal abuse. Awareness is step 1.

The San Diego Humane Society asks San Diego residents to say something if they see something questionable. It's a simple process that can be done online using this form. While contact information is collected, the Humane Society stresses that all reporting information is strictly anonymous.

You may also make a report over the phone at 619-299-7012.

If you have any information on the cases being investigated above, you may make an anonymous tip to San Diego Crime Stopers at their website ( Again, all information submitted is confidential.

It's been a rough year for all of us, including our animals. Let's all do our part to ensure a better San Diego for all.

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I write articles focused on helping others break out of their 9-5 mindset. This involves side hustles, mindset, motivation, hands on practical tips, case studies, 30 day challeneges, and other related content. It's a blast.

San Diego, CA

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