Nobody has the right to hurt animals maliciously - to abuse them or neglect them.
If you feel strongly about this statement, then you need to know more about animal rights in the United States. There are many State laws that protect domestic animals from cruelty, but proving abuse can be tricky.
Since animals can't speak for themselves, it's up to us to be their voice.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there are signs that you can look for if you suspect an animal is the victim of cruelty:
Physical Signs of Cruelty
- Tight collar that has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet's neck
- Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn't being treated
- Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
- Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
- Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
- Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
- Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
- Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
- Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
- An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
- Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness
- Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
- Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
- Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
- Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements
Once you're sure that the situation is abusive, report it!
Get as much information as you can, but do not put yourself in danger to get it:
- A concise, written, factual statement of what you observed—giving dates and approximate times whenever possible—to provide to law enforcement.
- Photographs of the location, the animals in question and the surrounding area. Note: do not put yourself in danger! Do not enter another person's property without permission, and exercise great caution around unfamiliar animals who may be frightened or in pain.
- If you can, provide law enforcement with the names and contact information of other people who have firsthand information about the abusive situation.
- It is possible to file an anonymous report, but please consider providing your information. The case is more likely to be pursued when there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report and, if necessary, testify in court.
Loyal pets just want to be loved!
For more information visit www.aspca.org.
The animals are counting on you!