Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prevent Animal Cruelty

April is Prevent Animal Cruelty Month. You have probably seen the different TV shows out there like Animal Planets “Animal Cops” where dedicated Agents work hard to help save the lives of animals. But you don’t have to be an Animal Cop to do your part to help crack down on animal cruelty in your community. Read on for signs and symptoms of animal cruelty and for simple actions you can take to help an animal in need.
Here are some other signs and symptoms of animal cruelty:
  • Tick or flea infestations. If left untreated by a veterinarian, these conditions can lead to an animal's death.
  • Wounds on the body.
  • Patches of missing hair.
  • Extremely thin.
  • Limping.
  • An owner striking or physically abusing an animal.
  • Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.
  • Dogs who have been hit by cars-or are showing any of the signs listed above-and have not been taken to a veterinarian.
  • Dogs who are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.
  • Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.
Get familiar with your communities authorities, and know whom to call to report animal cruelty. Some cities and states have their own animal authorities that are dedicated specifically to crimes involving animals. But every state and every town are different. In some areas, you may have to rely on the police department to investigate animal cruelty; in others, you may have to contact local animal control or another municipal agency. If you aren't sure where to report cruelty, it is best to call the police department and ask them for assistance.
Pay attention to details, and to know the animals in your neighborhood. By being alert, you're more likely to notice when a pet in the neighborhood who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly, which is a possible indicator of abuse.
Concerned? Make the call. Without phone calls from concerned citizens reporting cruelty, or even suspected cruelty, in their neighborhoods, most cases of animal abuse would be unknown to authorities. It all comes from the public and it all starts with you. Remember it is important to keep your eyes and ears open. Also remember to provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.
Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. Children will often mirror your actions. If they are taught at a young age how to treat pets with love and affection, they will do the same. Be sure they know the importance of being a responsible pet owner and the importance on respecting animals.
Supporting your local shelter or animal rescue organization, is a great way to make a difference. Shelters and rescues are always accepting donations. Donations don’t always have to be cash either; you can donate pet supplies as well. Another way of supporting shelters and rescues is fostering pets that have been abused in their former homes, until they find their forever home. Either way you would be giving these dogs and cats the chance they deserve to have a good life.
If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. It's more than just food, water, and adequate shelter; it is also your pets overall well-being. If you think your animal is sick, bring them to the veterinarian. Be a responsible pet owner and have your animals spayed or neutered. Last, but not least, remember give your pets lots of hugs!