As concerned citizens, it is up to us to speak up for the voiceless. Every day, animals are suffering at the hands of humans and if we happen to witness this cruelty, reporting it is the best thing to do. A simple phone call could help to greatly improve the quality of life of a poor neglected animal and it will make you feel good too.
Animal abuse and cruelty is not always well-defined or witnessed firsthand. However, there are ways to identify if an animal is being abused and a report can be filed against the abuser.
Ways to identify animal abuse
These are the signs you should look out for if you suspect an animal is being abused by its owner:
- Poor condition: If the animal looks unhealthy, has open untreated wounds or repeatedly gets injured, it might be a sign of physical abuse by the owner.
- Neglect: Neglected animals often look malnourished or excessively thin. In many cases, the animal is dirty, flea infested, and the fur is patchy or matted. If you observe a pet in this condition, you are looking at an animal that is being abused through neglect.
- Confined: Many animals, especially dogs, are kept chained or caged by their owners. Confining the animals spills over into abuse when:
- It happens twenty-four hours a day.
- The collar is too tight and pressing into the skin of the animal.
- The cage is too small, dirty or overcrowded with other animals.
- Inadequate shelter: Leaving an animal without shelter in all kinds of weather is a form of cruelty. Keeping an animal in the hot sun without food or water is torture for the creature. So also is leaving a pet out in the rain or snow. Many animals are left alone, tied up outside the house all the time.
- Physical abuse: There is always a chance that you might actually witness someone beating their dog. Extreme punishment for little to no reason is without a doubt animal abuse.
- Abandoned pets: If you notice a pet left behind after a family has moved out of their house, then the animal has been abandoned. There is nothing crueler than putting an animal through the pain or being abandoned.
How do you report animal abuse?
If you have observed any of the above or other forms of animal abuse, you should report it immediately. The best way to report animal abuse is at your local police station or by calling 911. Alternatively, you could call the local SPCA, Humane Society or even PETA for assistance.
Here’s what you need to remember when reporting animal abuse:
- Make as detailed a report as possible of the abuse. This would include the address where the abuse is taking place and the name of the owner, if possible. You will also need to note details like how long the abuse has been taking place or if there is a specific time that you have observed the animal being beaten or tied up.
- If possible, take pictures or recordings of the animal being beaten, caged or chained. Pictures of neglected malnourished animals or animals crammed together in small dirty cages are also good evidence. Just be sure to not break any laws or trespass on anyone’s property.
- You might want to remain anonymous and report the animal abuse over the phone, but as far as possible, file the report in person with all the evidence you have. Also, make sure to follow up with the law enforcement agency if no action has been taken for a few days.
With the help of these tips, we hope that you will be better equipped to recognize and report animal abuse.