Animals, like humans, deserve proper treatment. But unfortunately, animal cruelty is common. And according to The Humane Society, most animal abuse cases are never reported. Hence, it’s difficult to determine how common they actually are.
But the figures need not rise. We can do our part to prevent animal cruelty. Animal abuse can occur in any social or economic setting. It can happen in an urban or rural area.
And sometimes, even owners aren’t aware their pets are already being mistreated.
What Are The Types of Animal Cruelty?
Animal cruelty can either be passive (neglect) or active (direct violence). It’s tough to determine which between these two forms a case can be classified under. You need to be vigilant and look out for signs. Here are some you can take note of:
Some owners don’t physically hurt their animals or pets. Sometimes, cruelty can occur due to ignorance. In these cases, pet rescue teams usually educate the owner and monitor the case.
As for animal neglect, owners ignore the basic needs of their animal. This means neglecting to give them proper food and shelter. Failing to look out for the living, health, and grooming conditions of the animals.
If you see, for instance, that a dog is already showing his bones through the skin, this may be one sign that he’s not being fed adequately.
Direct violence to animals involves laying hands on them. You can watch out for signs such as limping or scars.
You can also take note of behavioral displays such as feeling uncomfortable around people or hiding. Remember, though, that these signs do not always necessarily signify abuse.
Some can be brought about by other factors. Witnessing abuse as it happens is one way you can tell that it’s a case of direct violence.
What You Can Do to Help Prevent Animal Cruelty
- Report animal cruelty. If you see an animal in need of help, contact the animal welfare agency in your area. They can conduct an investigation and see if it’s a case for animal abuse. Once you have already reported a case, you may also follow up its progress. Note, however, that not all details of the case may be divulged to the public.
- Educate people. Go to an animal welfare organization and request pet care pamphlets, if they have any. You can also check out pet care books or videos online. Share the information you’ll be able to gather with your friends, family members, or coworkers that have just become new pet parents.
- Commit to adopting. If you have decided to adopt, be sure that you can commit to it. Pets can live a long time, provided they’re cared for the proper way. If by any chance, you’ll no longer be able to look after them, that means they will probably be left in pet shelters or another home. It’s heartbreaking for this to happen so before you adopt, ask yourself if you can care for the pet forever. You don’t want another pet abandoned.
- Volunteer. Contribute your time or knowledge about proper pet care. Volunteer in schools or animal welfare organizations. Talk to kids, pet owners, or even your neighbors about the proper way to look after animals. This is especially the case for households that have no choice but to leave their pets at home when they’re at work.
- Spay or neuter. Dogs and cats are adorable but they multiply fast, too. If you can no longer afford to care for your pets, think about these options. Rather than seeing more homeless or abandoned animals, it may be better to spay or neuter. You can also try looking for new pet parents. Check their background first before entrusting your pets to them.
- Support animal welfare groups. Share their posts online or their contact numbers to other pet parents. You can also donate money, services, time, or goods. Ask what they need the most. You can also host a drive to gather more donations for the group. Other pet parents, for sure, will be willing to share anything they can to help.
Don’t ignore cases of animal abuse. If you suspect that an animal is being treated poorly, report the case to authorities. You can prevent animal cruelty. No amount of help is too small.