Laws N Paws; giving victims of animal abuse a second chance

A local non-profit, foster based rescue and volunteer group called Laws N Paws is focusing on helping animals who have been victims of abuse.

A foster-based group in El Paso is asking the community for help with some very special animals who are victims of neglect, abuse or abandonment.

Laws and Paws rescue focuses on animals that have a difficult past and is working hand in hand with the El Paso Police Department's Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit.

The nonprofit was created earlier this year by Vanessa Acosta and is volunteer based-based. Others like Martia La Manna have stepped in to help coordinate fosters, adoptions, fundraising and outreach efforts.

Acosta said she created the rescue because there is a need in the area for a rescue that catered specifically to abused, neglected, mistreated and abandoned animals.

La Manna is a foster mom and foster coordinator for the group. She told KFOX14 Laws and Paws places these special animals in other rescues or foster homes that can provide the necessary help these animals need to heal, socialize and find a forever home.

They also cover all vet care and are also focus on education and outreach.

"With what we're seeing in many of these cases is the need for more educaitoneducation in our community and to be able to raise awarnessawareness to what abuse looks like from very minimal cases to very extreme cases. To be able to provide an opportunity for individuals to come forward and express what they've witnessed and document what they're witnessed," said La Manna.

The foster group is also working with the El Paso Police Department's New Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit

Some of the special rescues in their care are under protective order while detectives investigate their owners for animal abuse.

Depending on the nature of the case, some animals cannot be released for adoption right away but still need a safe place to be.

Since animals are considered property in Texas, they can serve as evidence in criminal cases and their owners technically cannot lose ownership unless they sign relinquish their rights or they are found guilty of animal abuse.

Often many of these animals end up at the city shelter while their case is active and they can be there for weeks, months even years

Laws and Paws wants to be an primary alternative, but needs more fosters and funds not just to be a safe haven because they have to also provide witness protection for many of these four-legged critters.

Once they are available for adoption, extra measures are taken to ensure a safe future and fresh start for these victims.

"For the animals who are involved in active PD cases we really have to go out of our way to make sure they're not publicly advertised here in El Paso and more often than not we have to adopt them out of the county just to protect them because there are sometimes the opportunity for people to come forward and adopt these animals for malevolent reasons," said La Manna.

The group is also focusing on collecting data from these animal abuse cases and their experience in aiding the victims to help change laws in the future.

Currently Laws and Paws has 13 fosters in their care and has adopted 50 in 10 months.

To learn more about donating, fostering or adopting please contact the rescue.

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