What will you do to prevent animal abuse?
Neglect, abandonment, lack of veterinary care, animal hoarding, intentional abuse – sadly, these examples of animal cruelty are all too common. The statistics are staggering and many of us feel overwhelmed when we think of the thousands of animals who experience distress.
The good news is that we can all take action to provide a safety net for our state’s vulnerable animals and to Prevent animal abuse before it ever begins. If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference after hearing about a case of animal cruelty in the news, here are five things you can do to help.
Don’t be a bystander! If you are concerned that an animal may be in distress, do not ignore it. Your actions could help save a life. In addition to protecting the animal, you may also be protecting children or adults at risk of being harmed. Recognize the signs of an animal in distress and report animal cruelty to the RISPCA at (401) 438-8150.
Take responsibility for the animals in your life. Animals are a part of everyone’s life. Pets, wildlife, farm animals and animals used in research can all benefit from our actions. out winter hazards and summer heat. Be a responsible pet owner, choose nutritious foods for your pet, be aware of winter hazards such as exposure and anti-freeze, and summer heat hazards like the inside of your car.
Speak up for animals. Send a message to your local elected officials to let them know how important it is to have strong animal protection legislation as well as resources for animal cruelty law enforcement and prevention work. While we have legislation in place in Rhode Island, animal abusers need to face stiffer penalties than they have been.
Teach the kids in your life that kindness counts. Early prevention is our best weapon in the fight against animal abuse. We have many humane education programs to help children of all ages develop lifelong empathy skills and learn the value of kindness toward all living things.
Learn about the Violence Link. All too often, animals are not the only victims of abuse. There is a strong connection between animal cruelty and other forms of violence like bullying and domestic abuse.
Want to do more?
Get involved! Join our community of dedicated supporters by dedicating your time, energy and talents to animal abuse prevention in Rhode Island.
- Volunteer your time to help animals in need.
- Adopt an animal from your local shelter.
- Help us tackle the pet overpopulation crisis by learning more about spay and neuter programs in your community.
- Check out our careers page if you’ve ever dreamed about working in animal welfare.
- Make a donation to support our animal cruelty prevention and law enforcement programs.
How has animal abuse touched your life? Have you taken action? Share your story through email or social media to inspire others and help us learn from your experience.
(Many thanks to the British Columbia SPCA, for the basis of this piece).
Here’s a good article on Animal Cruelty and Juvenile Violence by the Humane Society of Utah.