I recently read a story about a man who was arrested because he was caught red handed abusing a cocker spaniel in the street. He was caught by a passerby in a car who stopped to save the dog. God bless that man. The man got out of the car after witnessing a cocker spaniel getting punched in the face SIX times. The two men argued and the abuser was reported and arrested. What hurt my heart even more was finding out the abuser was a pet sitter. I don’t believe he was a professional pet sitter but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter. Another animal was abused by a human.
Prosecuting acts of animal cruelty like this one is not only important for the sake of animals. It is also an essential step in protecting our communities. The evidence supporting the connection between animal cruelty and other serious crimes is overwhelming.
The realization is that there is a stong link between animal abuse and human abuse. Many animal abusers later go on to violently harm people, so it is a serious issue.
And with a large percentage of criminals being animal abusers. And animal abusers are a threat to our society.
But my focus right now is on the animals that are abused and its affect.
Deliberate cruelty to animals and negligence includes physically assaulting an animal, starving it, or keeping it in an unsuitable environment. This causes suffering. Animals experience pain, fear, boredom, loneliness etc just like we do. It can also cause physiological and health problems that include injury ,reduced immune response, increased susceptibility to disease ,digestive problems ,reduced reproductive fitness, increased stress hormones,increased heart rate and blood pressure,aggression ,depression, and stereotypic behaviors, such as pacing, head swaying, bar gnawing and self-harm.
Bottom line,animals are like humans, they feel the pain and have the fear. Their disadvantage is they are often helpless victims because they can’t say what happened to them. In fact, some people choose to abuse animals instead of people for this very reason! If we wish to create a humane society, we must stop cruelty against those who are most vulnerable-like animals.
So where do we start?
1) One of the most powerful tools we have for preventing cruelty to animals is education. It is important to plant the seeds of kindness in children early, and to nurture their development as the child grows. Children not only need to learn what they shouldn’t do, but also what they can do. When children see that their pets are happy and loving, it will make the child feel good, too. This in turn will help the children care for their pets’ feelings.
2) Don’t be afraid
Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By being aware, you’re more likely to notice, for example, that the dog next door who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly—a possible indicator of abuse.
3) Know who to Call to report animal abuse.
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, here is a link to help you out. Report Animal Cruelty section.
4) 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.
5) Fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws on federal, state and local levels .With stronger laws come tougher penalties. Here in Atlanta,GA several federal, state and local laws have been passed regarding animals. The majority of these laws focus on the protection of animals as well as pet ownership, sale, and breeding. Animal Law also deal with legal issues such as veterinary malpractice, food production, use of animals for entertainment purposes, property rental for pet owners pets, and providing for the care of pets after the death of its owner. The Georgia Animal Protection Society is a great place to start. Happy Walk Happy Dog is involved.
6) Finally, Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. But it’s more than just food, water, and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring him to the veterinarian. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. And give your pets lots of hugs!
In conclusion , Happy Walk Happy Dog doesn’t condone abuse in any way. I would bet the abuser that was arrested was not a professional pet sitter but someone doing a favor for a friend . And I don’t want pet owners allow this to inhibit them for getting great care for their pet. As a professional pet sitter, we are thoroughly vetted. Background checks are done and references are given. Happy Walk Happy Dog also involves itself in the fight against animal abuse. We are members of The Pet Professional Guild which prides itself on educating the public against abuse and raising pets without the use of force. We actively foster pets, volunteer with rescue organizations by giving them free walks and donations. Join us in helping to make the quality of life for pets better.
Til Next Time….