If your heart is kind, and your soul is accustomed to such feelings as compassion and empathy, you know that there’s absolutely no place for cruelty to animals in our world. Yet, it does happen around the corner: in every city, state, and country. Owners neglect, abuse, and even abandon their pets; animals are being skinned alive at the fur fabrics; dogs are killed because they are not fast enough to race; farm animals get their parts of the body amputated, clipped, etc.
How to stop animal cruelty is a global problem, and you are wondering what you can possibly do to help in the solution, we are offering you a short guide, which describes your options. Believe us, you can significantly help even without donating thousands of dollars to charity or putting on a hero mask and fighting the villains on your own. There many other, much easier ways.
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How to stop animal cruelty
First off, it is important to know that you as well might abuse your pet. Often times, the owners don’t realize that animal cruelty comes in different forms, where one of them is neglect and maltreatment. Are you sure you provide your beloved animal companion with proper care and decent living conditions? Different reports state that about half of the pet owners in America are self-taught. Today, you can find lots of services, including courses and training centers, where you can improve your knowledge and become the best “parent” for your pet. Also, you may want to take a look at Animal Protection Laws. HERE, you can find the related statutes for any state in the United States.
Signs of abuse
Recognizing cruelty to animals may be hard, whereas sometimes, it can be plainly obvious to anyone. You notice the signs of direct violence, including the following:
- open, untreated wounds;
- multiple scars;
- difficulty walking (f.e. limping);
- psychological signs (hiding from people, walking with the head down or the tail between the legs, etc.).
The signs of animal neglect are more subtle, and unfortunately, are found very often:
- untreated illnesses;
- poor living conditions (restricted movement, dangerous objects nearby, etc.);
- signs of starvation and/or dehydration (extreme thinness and visible bones);
- parasite infestations (ticks, fleas, and other parasites);
- lack of grooming.
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Of course, you can also become a witness of cruelty to animals that is happening right in front of your eyes – someone may be physically harming an animal (kicking, beating, etc.). It is important to take actions right away and involve authorities as fast as possible. Remember, cruelty to animals is almost always a sign of other, even larger patterns of violence that can be aimed even at other humans. No wonder that consciously inflicting damage to animals for pleasure is considered one of three main prerequisites for psychopathic behavior.
How to report animal abuse
If you become a witness of a suspected episode of animal abuse, you can call 911 and report about it. There are also numbers of local specialized organizations in each city. The main advice is very simple – provide accurate information, as it is critical to the services’ response. You may want to follow the tips below:
- If you believe the animal is in imminent danger and know the exact location of this animal, you should call your local police department. You can also call PETA at 757-622-7382 in case the police is unresponsive.
- Write a concise, factual statement of what you saw with dates and times if possible. Also, specify the major concern (dehydration, starvation, lack of medical attention, etc.) and don’t forget to provide your contact information.
- You can file an anonymous report. Consider, however, to provide your information, as the case is more likely to receive attention if there’s at least one credible witness, who might testify in court.
- You can also get written statements from other witnesses.
- If possible, take photos of the location and the animal that needs help. Remember: NEVER put yourself at risk.
- Never give away any documents and photos without making copies of them beforehand.
- If you find animal cruelty depicted online, you have several options. First, check the origin of the site by using www.whois.net. Then, you can contact local authorities, where “local” means the origin of the site, not yours. You can also contact animal shelters, humane society, or even local and national media organizations, as sometimes, they may have more power than the officials.
- If you find suspect animal cruelty on TV or in movies, you can contact the American Humane Association via their website or call (818) 501-0123.
- You can contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), if you have any questions regarding animal cruelty, or if you want to report an incident.
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How to heal an abused dog
If you found an abandoned dog and decided to take the animal home, you should consider the following information. Since stray dogs, which especially have been abused, do not trust any strangers, it is important to learn a few tips to keep yourself safe, as well as not to harm the animal:
- Prepare a safe zone at your house just for the dog. The area should be quiet.
- Never raise your voice. Soft tone transmits trust and safety.
- Never hit the dog and avoid making any sudden moves.
- Don’t force the dog to do anything it doesn’t want to do. Let the animal go to their space if they feel scared.
- It is important to have a scheduled daily routine. The dog should feel stability and one of the best ways to provide it is setting a timetable to feed it and to go for walks.
- During long walks, dogs produce endorphins, the hormones of happiness. But remember, a fearful dog can run away, so a long lead is the best option here.
- It can take very long for the wounds to heal. Therefore, have patience! However, if you feel like there has been little to no progress made, you can always consult a specialist. A canine ethologist knows how to help abandoned and abused dogs, and most likely can help your friend.
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This may be a long journey, but it is totally worth it. The bond that is created between a human and their loyal friend is simply priceless. However, if you aren’t sure you want to take such responsibility, you can always report about any stray animal or any incident of cruelty to animals. Remember, at any given moment, you might be the only one person who can rescue the animal. After all, if we, humans, are indeed superior, we need to take care of those who depend on us.