Just because you are a responsible pet owner and have happy, clean, and healthy pets doesn’t mean there aren’t animals out there that are neglected or abused by their owners.  If you ever suspect animal abuse, there are plenty of ways to prevent animal cruelty

Animal abuse can be hard to spot sometimes and the signs can be elusive. You should be familiar with the signs of animal cruelty/neglect, such as:

•    Untreated tick and/or flea infestations
•    Wounds on the body
•    Patches of missing hair
•    Extremely thin, starving animals
•    Limping
•    An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing the animal
•    Dogs that are repeatedly left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard
•    Dogs that are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions
•    Animals that cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners

You may notice these signs and symptoms in your neighbor’s pets, or you may notice them in a strangers pet when walking down the street.  If you want to help prevent animal cruelty, be aware of what healthy animals should look and act like, which will then help you understand how to tell when something isn’t right. 

Here are some ways you can help prevent animal cruelty:

1)    Know who to call to report animal cruelty
Every state and city are different.  In some, the police department takes charge of animal abuse situations, in others; you may have to contact local animal control or another agency.  Find this out ahead of time so you don’t have to fret when help is needed.

2)    Be familiar with your neighborhood
Not that everyone’s neighborhood is going to have instances of animal cruelty, but you should still get to know and look out for the animals you come in contact with often.  You will be able to notice indicators of abuse easier this way.

3)    Make the call
Don’t assume that someone else will report a situation; if you notice something suspicious, make the call and report it right away.

4)    Talk to your kids about animal kindness and respect
Children aren’t often the major perpetrators of animal abuse, but they can be whiteness to animal cruelty in various situations whether at friend’s houses or out and about in the community. Knowledge starts at home, set a good example for them by giving your pets the love and good care they deserve. At the same time, verbally teach your kids how animals should be treated so they can notice when something is wrong and grow up to be supporters of animals and not abusers themselves. 

5)    Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization
This is a great way to make a difference for those who have pets and those who do not.  You never know, you could end up adopting a pet or two that did not have good lives before.  Shelters are always looking for help, so call one up or visit one today!  Also, by volunteering for these organizations, you will know of a location where you can report animal abuse or even bring an injured pet to.

Whether you own a pet or not, you can help prevent animal cruelty.  Start in your efforts today!