Animal Cruelty: No One Should Stand Idly By
PLEASE HELP ME!
It’s a sunny spring morning. The air is cool and crisp with the promise of a beautiful day. It’s the kind of morning you just want to sit outside in your porch sipping freshly brewed coffee, and doing absolutely nothing. Reluctantly, I take in a deep breath and go back in the house to start cleaning.
It wasn’t very long when I hear a commotion coming from my neighbors’ backyard. Apparently, the young married couple living next door are fighting again, something I’ve become accustomed to almost daily. Then I hear the young woman scream. Startled, I rush to the back door, which I had left partially open earlier, and peek outside. I see the woman’s husband digging a hole on the ground, and then he begins to place a newborn puppy in the hole.
Not sure of what I was seeing, I walk out to get a closer look and see that the puppy is still alive. The wife is pleading and begging him not to do this. She grabs the puppy, and he violently snatches it back from her. By this time, my mother has also heard all the screaming and has stepped outside to look as I run over to the neighbor’s yard.
I hear the puppy pitifully crying. I asked the man to give me the puppy. He refuses and mumbles something about the puppy being dead. That’s when in my rage I grab the puppy, just as he is ready to throw it back down into the hole, and walk back to my home. I remember wishing at that moment he would lay a finger on me, just one finger, but he didn’t. Sure, I know he could hurt me if he wants to, but then he would have to deal with someone who is NOT helpless. Sometime later, the police are at his house.
As I clean the dirt off the puppy, I find the puppy has a badly infected wound. The abscess is almost as big as the puppy, and I could see the he is in severe pain. I take the puppy to the vet. After a few days of disinfecting and painfully draining the abscess, a heart-breaking experience to say the least, the puppy pulls through and survives. A few months later, I find the pup a good home.
Later, I discover that the puppy had sustained the injury in the neighbor’s garage while my neighbor was working on a car. He had dropped an object on him, and instead of caring for the pup, he let the animals’ wound fester. He then decided to bury the puppy alive to be rid of him.
Millions of Animal Cruelty Cases go Unreported!
If you find this story horrific and it sends you into tears of anger, provoking strong and powerful emotions in you, it should. This is one out of millions of true stories of animal cruelty. The atrocious cruelty inflicted on helpless animals range from neglect, starvation, beatings to torturing, shooting, stabbing, drowning, burning them alive, and every other unimaginable horrendous way. However, what’s more appalling is when people witness these vicious acts and stand idly by, doing absolutely nothing about it.
Animal cruelty is a sadistic act inflicted by violent deeply disturbed psychopathic individuals. Animal cruelty is not only limited to domestic animals but to livestock, horses, and other species of animals as well. According to the Humane Society of the United States Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics’ webpage, the most common victims are dogs, more specifically, pit bulls.
Their website reports that in 2007, the media reported an estimate of 1880 cases of animal cruelty. Out of these cases,
- 64.5% (1,212) involved dogs
- 18% (337) involved cats
- 25% (470) involved other animals
- Reported abuse against pit bulls appears to be on the rise: in 2000–2001, pit bulls were involved in 13% of reported dog-abuse cases; in 2007, they were involved in 25% of reported dog-abuse cases.
For more statistics on animal cruelty to horses and livestock, go to the Humane Society of the United States Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics. Also, check out “Pet Statistics” at ASPCA.org.
These numbers reflect only reported cases during 2007; however, the majority of cases go unreported and unrecognized. While an unabated number of animals continue to suffer every year worldwide.
Not surprisingly, statistics show that a staggering number of reported animal abuses are linked to domestic violence. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), “nearly 1 million animals a year are abused or killed in connection with domestic violence.”
HSUS statistics also show the following legislative trends:
- 47 states currently have felony provisions for animal cruelty. (Those without are Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota.)
- Before 1986, only four states had felony animal cruelty laws.
- 42 of the 47 state felony animal cruelty laws were enacted in the last three decades: 13 were enacted between 1986 and 1996, and 28 more were enacted between 1997 and 2011.
First vs. Second Offense
- 43 of the 47 state felony provisions are first-offense provisions.
- Four are second-offense felonies (Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).
- Within the 43 first-offense felony states, several have a first-offense provision for aggravated cruelty, torture, companion animal cruelty, etc., in addition to a second-offense provision for cruelty to animals.
HSUS also goes on to say that six states, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Virginia “have enacted second- or third-offense felony animal cruelty laws, only to readdress and upgrade them to first-offense laws within a few years.” I guess it’s not sufficient that the few laws passed barely punish the crime of animal cruelty but these six states are finding Second-Offense Laws inadequate.
You Can Prevent Animal Abuse
The growing numbers of animal abuse cases are astounding and although the laws against animal cruelty are (slowly) increasing, they are not sufficiently appropriate to stop animal cruelty entirely. Nonetheless, there are other ways to help prevent animal abuse, and you can help.
- Treat your animal(s) with kindness, compassion, and love.
- Do not tie them up or cage them for long periods.
- Care for them with daily fresh food and water, veterinary care, and shelter.
- If you cannot afford to care for an animal, do not get one from the start.
- If you have an animal you cannot keep, find them a good home.
- Do not buy from puppy-mill-supplied pet stores.
- Boycott circuses, zoos, and amusement parks that use and exploit animals for entertainment.
- Read product labels and avoid those that are tested on animals.
- Do not buy commercialized meat and buy those from organic farms.
- If you are a breeder, check out potential future owners and place strict requirements.
- Check state and local animal-protection laws; be prepared to take action.
- If you suspect animal cruelty, report it to the local authorities, Humane Society, and local shelters. You can do this anonymously if you’re afraid of retaliation.
If you witness someone committing a horrible sadistic act against a helpless animal or animals,
- Do not stand idly by and ignore the abuse, get involved! You can be that animal’s only hope.
- Do call the local authorities immediately!
- If you are afraid to step in, get someone to accompany you, scream, shout, call a lot of attention and make a scene… do something!
- If you do intervene, try, try, try to control your rage and do not resort to violence against the abuser. You could not only precipitate that animal’s death, but also hurt yourself in the process.
- Follow up on your reported animal cruelty case. If the authorities do not respond right away or do not take a course of action, pursue the case. You can call PETA and your local government officials (mayor, prosecutor, city council members, and county commissioners). Speak up!
- Keep detailed records of what you witnessed. Gather evidence. For example, keep records of whom you talked to with dates and times, take photos and videos, etc.
There is much more you can do to help animals in need. Adoption of abused, neglected, and unwanted animals is one great way you can help. If you cannot help by adopting a pet from a shelter, you can help by contributing in other ways, such as volunteering at your local shelters or with donations. Contact your local shelters, the Humane Society, and the ASPCA to find out how you can help.
A Word from the Author
It is at the request from a fellow hubber when I answered his question about animal cruelty that I write this hub with great difficulty. With difficulty because I am very passionate about this subject and writing about this stirs up very strong emotions in me. I have personally witnessed the horrible results of animal abuse and the extent of evil in mankind towards helpless creatures.
In browsing through the internet for photos of animal cruelty to place in my hub, I came across hundreds of horrific and very graphic photos of abused, maimed, starved, tortured, and dead animals due to animal abuse. I could not place them in my hub because of their graphic nature and the strong emotions it will provoke in many of my readers. However, I am asking my readers to Google images of "animal cruelty," and you will see the results of the horrendous acts done by sadistic individuals.
There are not enough laws to protect animals against animal cruelty and the people abusing helpless animals are getting away with a slap on the hand. What’s more disturbing is, there are laws to protect individuals and organizations like research labs and animals farms from animal cruelty charges. Please help me and many others fight animal cruelty by getting involved. There are millions of animals crying out for help this very moment.