It’s up to each of us to help prevent cruelty to animals. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) an animal is abused or beaten every ten seconds. However, animal cruelty is not always about physical abuse. April is officially Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, so here are the things you need to know:
Lack of adequate shelter: an animal that’s regularly left outside can quickly perish in the Arizona heat. Access to clean, fresh water and shelter from the sun is important, especially during the summer months. Better yet, the animal should be kept indoors where it’s cooler.
Untreated medical or skin conditions: if an animal is losing hair or has open sores, they need medical treatment. Withholding treatment for common ailments or disease like diabetes or thyroid issues is also a form of animal cruelty.
Extended crating is another common form of animal cruelty. Pets need regular exercise, attention and socialization, not to mention potty breaks. If these can’t or won’t be provided by the pet owner, they shouldn’t own a pet.
Negligent cruelty: Leaving an animal (or a child) alone in a locked car during summer months! Never, ever do this – not even for “just a few minutes”. Temperatures will quickly soar to life-threatening levels.
What to do if you suspect animal cruelty: If you suspect or witness an act of animal cruelty, don’t look away – ACT! Call the local police, the Humane Society or other animal welfare organization. You can make a complaint anonymously (if necessary) so that animals in jeopardy are rescued and receive the care they need. If you’re concerned about the immediate health or safety of the animal, be sure to alert the officer that it’s an emergency situation. Remember, we need to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Keep a record of the incident/s, the date of your complaint, the organization you contacted and the name of the person you talked with as well as their response to the situation you’ve described. It may be helpful if authorities decide to prosecute the suspected abuser.