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April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is hoping to spread awareness that cruelty to animals is still a prevalent problem in the U.S. In fact, every 10 seconds an animal is experiencing some form of cruelty. Animal cruelty occurs when someone intentionally injures or harms an animal, or when a person deprives an animal of food, water or necessary medical care. Signs of animal cruelty can include wounds on the body of an animal, limping, patches of hair missing, an extremely thin animal, or pets who are left outside in extreme weather conditions.

There are many ways to support and spread awareness of the importance of preventing innocent animals from being exposed to cruelty. One way is to give an hour or so of your time each week to volunteer at a local animal shelter or humane society, where many abused animals end up. If the shelter is in need of essentials such as cat litter or dog food, those items can be purchased to help needy animals. If a family or individual is thinking about adding another pet to their household, always urge them to think of adoption first. Adoption is becoming increasingly recognized as the best, most human option, and by adopting instead of buying, animals are being given a second chance to experience the love and companionship of a human friend, which they may never have experienced before. Skipping puppy stores is also a way to show support for the cause, since puppies that come from puppy mills are often forced to live in terrible conditions. 

There are ways to report animal cruelty if you see it. The first step is to find out who is responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in town. People who are responsible for enforcing these laws can include a local humane society, animal control or shelter, or a police station. When reporting animal cruelty, is it crucial to provide as much information as possible to the authorities so that the perpetrators can be prosecuted. By being aware of and reporting acts of cruelty, concerned citizens and communities can help save the lives of innocent animals. Also, spreading the word through social media can work wonders to get people involved in the problems that face animals who suffer cruelty. The ASPCA invites everyone to use their personal Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and blogs to spread the word, and to tag the ASPCA in their posts (@ASPCA).

For more ways you can help prevent animal abuse, go to