Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“If people were Superior to Animals, they'd take better care of the world”

“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.”
― César Chávez

April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month. Even though awareness has grown, strict laws have been enacted and more severe punishments have been enforced over the past few decades there is still a tremendous amount of educational support needed in the prevention of animal cruelty. We understand that greed is motivation for dog fighting and puppy mills but what mind set or lack of emotion enables human beings to inflict pain, torture or completely neglect an animal?  Why do humans continue to abuse animals? 

"One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it." -Anthropologist Margaret Mead

  What are the characteristics of an animal abuser?     
Abuse and neglect of animals is not just a mere "character flaw" or an act to be taken lightlyAbusing animals starts early in life and with proper intervention can be prevented. Without intervention you may be allowing an animal to suffer or die. In assessing youth at risk or those who have the potential to become violent, the U.S. Department of Justice stresses a history of animal abuse. Sadly, animal abuse is often learned and accepted in the child's life. Children have been taught that animals don't suffer or feel pain the way humans do. Children who fail to develop empathy will abuse. In some but not all animal abuse cases the adult or child was abused themselves. The FBI sees animal cruelty as a predictor of violence against people and considers past animal abuse when profiling serial killers.

 Typically, animal abusers are aggressive or posses a violent and/or sadistic streak.  Overly aggressive personalities are often fearful people. This type of abuser may have an imbalance; feeling either inferior or superior to others. In order to gain a sense of power or domination they may strike a defenseless animal, keep them in cages for an excessive amount of time, punish them for relieving themselves, deny them food, water, exercise or deny any type of physical petting or affection. If you notice that another human being is cruelly teasing, childishly displaying excessive jealously or acting aggressively towards your pet, seek help immediately. Would you want this person around your children or other loved ones?

Neglect is a form of abuse.

Abuse encompasses much more than slapping, hitting and displaying acts of violence. Neglect is another form of abuse. Animals depend on us for their survival and well being. When we adopt a cat or dog and bring them into our home we should love them as much as we do any other family member. An animal depends on us for their medical treatment, shelter, food, water, grooming and physical/mental stimulation. Caging or chaining an animal for more than eight hours at a time is not only excessive, it's neglect. Keeping an animal outside 24/7 with little or no shelter is neglect. Failure to properly nourish, supply fresh, clean water or provide adequate exercise for your pet is neglect. There are millions of  hard working people with honorable intentions who adopt or rescue pets with the heroic thought they are "saving" an animals life. Ask yourself this question, a question you would ask parents of  their children: "What kind of life are you providing  if you don't love or care enough to pay attention to their needs?"

What do you do if you suspect animal abuse?

If you suspect there is a puppy mill operating in your area, a shop selling puppy mill animals,  dog fighting, abuse or neglect of animals in your neighborhood, contact your local law enforcement or animal control. Don't be afraid to speak up. We truly are an animals only voice. Document times, locations, and all details of the alleged abuse. If possible provide photographic or video evidence of a crime. Ending animal suffering is up to you, not only in the month of April but now and forever..