THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) -- Pat Thomas is an animal lover. She also runs the Thomas County animal control.
She says the recent cases of animal abuse and cruelty really shakes her up.
Pat Smith, Director Thomas County Animal Control, says, "They have to take it and they suffer. That is what breaks my heart knowing these animals are suffering."
In 2012 investigators from Thomas County animal control responded to 3,000 calls.
Around 1,100 of them involved animal cruelty or abuse.
Smith says the problem is growing, "I think the increase is due to the economy a lot of people out of work and can't afford to take care of animals. They are depressed they are upset and they take it out of animals."
Smith says many shelters are over crowed because people are giving up their animals. She plans on holding town hall style meetings to educate people in hopes of bringing the number of animal cruelty cases down.
Pat Smith says, "We will never stop it. But maybe we will put a dent in it and the more people we get involved we get involved maybe the more animals we can help."
The number of animal cruelty and abuse cases went up. In 2011 animal control investigators work 900 cases. In 2012 they investigated 1,100 cases.