For us Easter egg hunters and Peep eaters, I recently learned that April has even more great things for us to recognize! It is also the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month! This is a powerful campaign to bring to light the truth and sadness of so many animals around the world!
And while nobody enjoys hearing tragic stories about innocent animals and the lives they have had to endure, being ignorant is NOT going to make a change.
I personally can’t handle the heart wrenching stories, but there are many ways to help without being overcome with tears and tissues.
So no more excuses, and as Ghandi said-
“ You must be change you want to see in the world.”
It is so important to help advocate for all animals, but even more importantly, for the animals that are in your life; the dog that lives next door to you, your co-workers pet, or even a friend’s animal. Whenever there is mistreatment in question, evaluate the situation and identify IF there is in fact a problem.
The most obvious type of cruelty that we can see with our eyes, is direct violence or abuse. Any sort of wounds, cuts or limping could all be indicators that an animal is being hurt. In addition, signs of abuse can also be recognized if a dog has a “scared” demeanour. Meaning, that they are acting skittish, cringing when people approach them, and/or constantly in hiding. *Remember, although a signal of abuse, there are many other reasons for a dog to demonstrate these behaviors.
Unfortunately, this type of cruelty is harder to identify. Unless you actually witness something first hand, neglect it is not always clear. And although someone may not have physically injured the dog with force, neglect is just as awful.
Some things to look for are:
A dog that has been ill or injured for an extended period of time
Extremely thin- bones visible through skin
Filthy living conditions
Exceptionally bad grooming
Lack of shelter in an outside setting
Tied up outside for an obscene amount of time- abandonment
Reporting & Prevention
If you suspect an animal is being abused, don’t turn a blind eye, call your local animal welfare or control agency! If you are unsure of exactly who to call, in most areas you can dial 311 to be connected with city services and they can get you in contact with the right people!
As a teacher, I cannot preach this enough… educate others! It is simple and not over rated. Teach people all around you about how their pets should be treated, the dos and don’ts of owning an animal. As an educator I understand how vital of a role I have in helping young students learn the importance of caring for animals. But even if you don’t have such a youthful audience at your feet everyday, you do have a large audience that’s only a touch away. Use social media to inspire and recognize proper care for animals and to share facts that could help others.
Making a Difference
Cruelty Free Products
This is the easiest way to help the fight against animal cruelty! Support companies and purchase products that do not use animal testing or byproducts. By giving your money to companies that value the life of animals, you are taking a stand against the misuse of animals and the cruelty they endure due to companies like Revlon and Pantene Pro-V. Visit: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty/these-companies-dont-test-on-animals/ for product names that are safe for you to use and support!
Cross-posting Animals & Advice
Do NOT blare on social media about the low cost of a puppy for sale. Even if tagged as, free to a good home, this sort of advertisement is in danger of drawing the wrong kind of audience. However, the internet has also come to be the saving grace for countless animals all over the world. So, share, post, re-tweet, or whatever it is you do, to help save abused or abandoned animals in need.
Do not go to any stores that still sale puppies… like NEVER ever! Puppies that are sold in stores are typically from puppy mills where the dogs are bred over and over again until they die. Here in the south, my go-to pet store is Pet Supply Plus or Hollywood Feed!
When you can…
The truth and facts about animal abuse is unsettling for even the toughest of hearts. But, if everyone just does a little bit, then maybe we can make this world a better place for animals to live. Because after all, animals hold the purest and most unfaltering love that a person can know.