Sadly, thousands of animals are abused or neglected every day in the U.S. April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month, a time for pet-lovers to take action to prevent these horrible acts. So how can you help in the fight against animal cruelty? The ASPCA offers a few great steps to get involved.
First, get to know the animals in your neighborhood and keep a lookout for the warning signs of abuse. Missing patches of hair, wounds or severe mange are signs that an animal is being neglected. Also, take note if you see an animal being hit by its owner, showing noticeable fear of its owner or being left outside without access to food, water and shelter.
The next step is to report animal abuse to the appropriate authorities. Every state and city have different rules when it comes to who responds to animal cruelty cases. In some areas, local law enforcement is responsible for responding. In other cases, the responsibility falls to groups like animal control or the Humane Society. To get a better idea of where to report cases where you live, visit the ASPCA’s guide.
You can help aid the fight against animal cruelty by taking an active role in raising funds for rescue groups. You can make a donation directly, or go a step further by organizing a benefit or fundraiser within your community. Or, you might hold a drive for supplies like food and bedding at your office, church or school.
Help spread the word to others by using the hashtag #fightcruelty on social media. This is a highly effective and free way to educate your friends about ending animal cruelty. You can also be part of the grassroots movement by talking to your kids about how animals should be treated, whether or not you have pets yourself. Kids are like little sponges, soaking up the information we show and tell them. When you talk to your kids about animal cruelty, they’re likely to pass the message along to their friends as well!
Unfortunately, animal cruelty cases sometimes fall by the wayside in police jurisdictions that are strapped for resources. Make your voice heard by calling your local police chief, sheriff or district attorney’s office. Let them know that animal cruelty investigations matter to you and your neighborhood, and that prosecution of these crimes should be a priority.
By working together, we can make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected pets, one animal at a time!
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