Taking a Stand Against Animal Cruelty
If you are reading this, you probably have something in common with the rest of us at Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital. We are all animal lovers through and through. We can’t imagine how anyone could be less than kind to our furry, feathered, and scaled friends. Animal cruelty, unfortunately, does happen. That doesn’t mean that we need to turn a blind eye, however. Learn what forms animal cruelty can take and how you can take a stand.
Defining Animal Cruelty
Animal cruelty, as with many crimes, has many forms and may sometimes fall into a gray area. Legally, it Massachusetts it is defined as:
- Failure to provide an animal with proper food, water, shelter, veterinary attention, and/or a sanitary environment
- The willful abandonment of an animal
- Carrying an animal in or on a vehicle in a way that endangers him or her
- Permitting an animal to unnecessary torture, suffering, or cruelty
- Subjecting, causing, or obtaining an animal to be tortured, tormented, cruelly killed, beaten, or mutilated
- Failure to notify the police or pet owner after hitting dog or cat with a motor vehicle
- Using animals as lure or bait in an inhumane way
- Giving away a live animal as a prize in a game
- Attending an animal fighting event
- Using live vertebrates for experiments that causes pain or interferes with health
Cruelty to animals can take place in many different ways. Sometimes pets suffer due to deliberate abuse, other times it is due to neglect or ignorance. No matter what form it comes in, however, animal cruelty is not acceptable.
It has been shown that there is a direct link between this type of cruelty and violence against people as well. If you witness these types of behaviors, it is important to take the proper actions to protect potential victims, two-legged or four.
What You Can Do
So what can you possibly do when it comes to animal cruelty? While it may seem like you don’t have a voice, the truth is that you can be a very powerful force when it comes to protecting innocent animals.
The most important thing that you can do is to break the silence. If you suspect animal cruelty in any way, shape, or form, it is important to speak up. Don’t hesitate to call the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at (800) 628-5808. Be sure to have details and documentation where available to help bring justice to those who deserve it.
There are many other ways that you can help as well, including helping to educate the public, donating your time or money to shelters and rescues who work against animal cruelty, and lobbying for better animal protection laws.
Animals may not have a voice, but you can help them. Follow your instincts, and don’t ever doubt yourself. It is best to err on the side of caution than to let an innocent creature be harmed. Animals do so much for us, it is the least we can do in return.