In a perfect world we’d never have to worry about or be confronted with animal cruelty and abuse. Unfortunately it is a reality that happens everyday. In an effort to combat animal cruelty you should know the signs and symptoms as well as what you should do if you suspect animals are being mistreated. All domesticated pets deserve a loving home and sometimes, all it takes is a phone call to put the wheels in motion to bettering an animals life.

Convicted dog abuser Alsu Ivanchenko and victim "Charlotte".  

What can you do to prevent animal cruelty?

Many people may have the image that animal abuse requires some sort of physical abuse or starvation. In fact abuse of an animal can take many forms.  

What is Animal Abuse/Cruelty

 

  • Not Providing Adequate Shelter – pets that are left tied up outside in the rain, snow, wind, and sun without adequate shelter is a form of abuse. All animals should have the opportunity to shelter themselves from the elements.
  • Not Seeking Medical Treatment – this applies to everything from leaving serious physical injuries untreated to not taking steps to properly safeguard a pet from flea and tick infestations and heart worms.
  • Malnourished Pets – Anytime you can see an animals ribs clearly, they are malnourished and in need of care.
  • Frequent abandonment – Pets that are frequently left alone for extended periods of time without a pet sitter or anyone to check in on them to make sure they are in good health and their basic needs are being met.
  • Physical Abuse – Striking, choking, or incapacitating an animal in any way

 So what should you do if you feel that you have witnessed or are aware of an ongoing situation in which animals are being mistreated? This will vary based on your areas resources. If you have a local Humane Society many of them will have a hotline you can call to report abuse. You can also call your local law enforcement agency and ask for assistance or direction in checking on the situation. Make it a point to get to know the animals in your neighborhood and be sure to teach your children the proper way to treat pets – both theirs and others. If you have concerns, and feel comfortable with the owners, ask questions. Sometimes situations won’t be what they seem. You’d hate to end up reporting someone who had just taken in a starving stray and was trying to nurse it back to health. When in doubt though, call someone to perform a welfare check on the pet(s). For more ways to help put an end to animal cruelty check out the Human Society’s information for your state here.