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Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

It seems like every day on social media, there is a new video or story about cruelty to animals. While it’s good that there are many people standing up for animals, there is still a long way to go. That’s why the month of April has been declared Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month by the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Statistics show that every 10 seconds, an animal is experiencing some form of cruelty. The definition of cruelty is 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 and pets who are left outside in extreme weather conditions.

There are many ways to support and spread the word of the importance of preventing innocent animals from being exposed to cruelty. One way is to give an hour or so of time to volunteer at a local animal shelter or humane society. 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, and there is a chance that a pet who is in an animal shelter has experienced some form of cruelty or abuse. By adopting, animals are given a second chance to experience the love of a kind human or family that they might have been neglected of before. Another creative option is to join ASPCA and create a customized fundraising page for an important event or furry family member. All it requires is that the page is shared with family and friends, and the best part is that the money raised by the page will make a difference to animals in need.

So, what to do if a person sees an animal being abused or neglected? The first thing is to speak up! Report the animal cruelty to whoever is responsible for investigating and enforcing anti-cruelty laws in the town immediately. Next, document details. Tell the person investigating the location, date, time and descriptions of the people and animals involved. If the person is able to get video or photographic evidence, that’s even better and can help the case. If there is someone else with the person witnessing the abuse, provide names. Lastly, if a person is able to remain at the scene safely until authorities arrive, they are encouraged to do so.

Remember, never assume that someone else will take care of the situation. Animals can’t speak for themselves, so it is up to everyone to speak for them. Spreading the word through social media can work wonders to get people involved in the problems that animals suffer. The ASPCA invites everyone to use their personal Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs, and to tag the ASPCA in their posts @ASPCA. Also, wear orange! The color represents the organization’s mission to prevent animal cruelty.