Shedding light on animal abuse

  Animal abuse is something the majority of people don’t think about on a daily basis.  However, many animal abuse reports are made each day. When you think of animal abuse, you probably think of someone physically abusing an animal in a way such as hitting, punching, kicking, etc, but it can come in many different forms.

   According to the Wildlife Rescue, “Animal cruelty is often broken down into two main categories: active and passive.”  Active abuse is when there is an intent to harm the animal behind the person who is abusing the animal; this is also known as NAI (Non-Accident Injury).  In cases of active abuse, the animal is removed from the home.

  Passive abuse is when the owner is neglectful towards their pet.  Although it’s not always on purpose, neglect can cause pets a lot of pain and suffering, as they may be starving or dehydrated.  In less severe cases, the owner may be able to keep the animal if they take classes on how to care for it better.

  Acts of NAI can be red flags that someone isn’t going to stop with just harming animals.  According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a study in 1997 by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that people who abuse animals are five times as likely to harm humans as well.

  Also according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, another study done in 2013 found that 43% of people who commit school shootings also were involved with animal cruelty beforehand.  If a child is cruel to animals, it may be a sign that they are either being abused or that they may have a type of disorder.

 One more fact from the Animal Legal Defense Fund states that a 2017 study found that 98% of women who owned a pet while in an abusive relationship reported the abuser threatening their animal. It didn’t stop there, though; these women also reported the animals being harmed or even killed in some cases.

   Animal abuse is obviously a horrendous thing, especially in the case of Non-Accidental abuse. You may be thinking to yourself, “How can I help/stop this?”

  According to American Humane, signs of neglect you can look for include: no shelter, a collar that is too tight, lack of grooming, mange (caused by parasites, causes itching), and starvation.

  If you witness animal abuse, you can report it to animal control, law enforcement agencies, or to a humane organization.

  Also according to American Humane, you can prevent neglect with education. Some people are unaware of how important it is to show affection to your pet or of the fact that puppies outgrow their collars.

  Going forward, we can work to make sure animals do not go into abusive homes.  We can also make an effort to educate people on how to properly care for their pets.

Paige Martin, Staff Reporter

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Polar bear spreads the message to fight animal cruelty.  Photo courtesy of  Public Domain Pictures.