Although Taiwan SPCA’s investigation department receives many reports each year regarding animal abuse posts and photos on the Internet, it has been difficult to locate and identify the suspects because of certain restrictions. These restrictions oftentimes hinder investigators from locating the IP address of the suspect and so, it is hard to catch and penalize the abusers.
Here are some tips on what actions to take when you find online comments, articles or photos of animal abuse that may have taken place:
- Record such articles, photos or videos by taking a screenshot and downloading them as evidence immediately. Click into the personal profile of the suspect; take a screenshot as well, and save the page link. Look for any personal information such as a name, telephone number, address, vehicle license plate, email, working address, or school address.
- Look through the suspect’s status updates and About Info; the suspect may have mentioned other abusive behavior. When such acts are detected, take a screenshot immediately and keep as evidence.
- In cases when the post is a shared post (instead of coming directly from the suspect), send a private message to the person who shared the post and ask for more information about the possible suspect.
- You can also read the articles and past posts of the suspect and browse his circle of friends to find out where the suspect lives or works (in order to narrow down the search of locating the animal).
*When the possibility of animal abuse is discovered online, do not accuse or leave a nasty message to the suspect before saving the evidence first. If you do so, the suspect may delete the posts or photos right away, which will then make it impossible to investigate the case.