Learn to recognize the signs of animal cruelty and abuse
In order to help animals, it’s important to know what the signs of animal cruelty are. It’s important to first establish what exactly constitutes as animal abuse in order to recognize and report it properly.
The ASPCA defines cruelty as “when someone intentionally injures or harms an animal or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water or necessary medical care”. There are many different types of animal cruelty, but it is mostly categorized into two types: direct and indirect abuse (also known as neglect).
Direct abuse occurs when the abuser purposefully does something harmful or negative towards the animal, such as hitting an animal with a belt for no reason. Indirect abuse is more insidious and less obvious; this type of abuse may include failing to provide proper shelter for your pet during a snowstorm, allowing their nails to grow long and pointed (which can potentially cause pain), etc.
“I just wanted to say thank you. We got a chance to volunteer at an animal shelter and I really appreciated it. I also donated some money to our local shelter, so thank you for the advice.” The animal shelter worker smiled and nodded before continuing on about the other animals needing new homes and the importance of donations. He hoped she understood he wasn’t saying that out of obligation or obligation’s sake, but because he genuinely cared about the plight of all animals everywhere—especially those who had experienced abuse or neglect at one point in their lives. “And I encourage everyone to support a good organization like PAWS, too,” he added, with a grin as he turned away from her desk.
If you’re not in a position to adopt a pet, foster one.
If you’re not ready for a new addition to your family, but still want to help, fostering might be the option for you. Fostering is a way to save an animal from euthanasia by providing a temporary home for them. This allows shelters to rescue more animals from harm and keeps the foster animal out of the shelter in a loving environment.
Fostering can also be a good way for potential pet owners to see if they are ready for the responsibility of having their own pet.
Volunteer at local shelters and rescue organizations.
Helping animals in your community is another way to fight animal cruelty. Animal shelters and rescue organizations are always looking for volunteers to help walk dogs, socialize cats, clean cages, and more. Volunteering at a shelter is a great way to help animals in need and get some valuable experience if you’re considering a career working with animals.
Volunteer opportunities extend beyond the shelter walls, too: many organizations need help with fundraising or will take financial donations; others organize events such as spay/neuter clinics or public dog walks; and still others rely on volunteers to transport animals from the shelters to their new homes.
Spay or neuter your pets.
There are plenty of reasons to sterilize your pets. One of the most important ones is to avoid having too many animals tethered to a limited number of resources and being forced into a cycle of overpopulation. This can lead to overcrowding, which in turn increases the risk of disease through cramped living spaces, inadequate sanitation, and unsanitary conditions. It also creates problems in animal shelters by adding more mouths to feed while decreasing the overall quality and quantity of available food.
But there’s another reason that’s just as important: too many animals equals fewer people. Let me explain—you may have noticed that every time you go out with friends or family for dinner, you’re probably surrounded by several other people (with their pets) who mistakenly believe that they’re having fun because they’re spending money at a restaurant with friends or family members rather than on themselves. What do restaurants want? Lots of customers! And if we all treat our dogs like they cost us nothing but an overpriced piece of steak, we lose out on all kinds of business opportunities—most importantly, more customers come back! They tell their friends where they went and why they loved it so much; this gives other businesses hope that there’s something in Dawson City worth coming back for again!
Report signs of animal cruelty to the appropriate authorities.
If you see an animal in distress, call the police right away. If you know that abuse is occurring but no immediate danger is present, contact your local animal control agency or SPCA. The U.S. Humane Society has a hotline for reporting animal cruelty (1-877-609-5777), and any other relevant organization in your area will likely have a similar resource available online. If you’re not sure who to contact, ASPCA has a great search function on their cruelty investigation page that can help point you in the right direction based on your location and the services needed for your situation.
Be an advocate for animals.
Now that you have a basic knowledge of what animal cruelty is, you may be wondering what you can do to help stop it. Maybe you are too busy working multiple jobs to join an organization or volunteer at a shelter, but there are still ways that you can be an advocate for animals. If your local newspaper allows it, write letters to the editor and let people know what’s going on. Write your representatives and senators and urge them to pass legislation that will prevent animal cruelty. Create petitions asking companies to discontinue practices that exploit animals. Use social media! Make a blog like I did! The possibilities are endless!
Follow the law yourself- don’t participate in illegal activities such as dog fighting, cockfighting, and other types of cruelty.
First and foremost, you should never participate in or tolerate any type of animal cruelty. If you see someone else treating an animal cruelly, report it to authorities. It’s that simple!
There are many ways you can help fight against animal cruelty!
There are many ways you can help fight against animal cruelty!
- Donate money to an organization that helps prevent animal cruelty.
- Donate supplies to a rescue, such as blankets, towels, and toys for the animals.
- Volunteer your time at a rescue by walking dogs, cleaning kennels, or helping at adoption events.
- Adopt an unwanted pet from an animal shelter.
- Foster a pet while it is waiting to be adopted. (Contact your local shelter.)
- Spay or neuter pets so they do not add to the number of unwanted animals in the world.
- Endeavor to educate people on how they can help fight against animal cruelty and on how they can ensure their pets are being treated humanely. If you see someone abusing an animal, report it to the police.