As pet owners and animal lovers, it’s unimaginable that anyone would want to hurt these sweet, furry creatures.
Sadly, animal cruelty is incredibly common, and it happens everywhere—from urban areas to the most remote locations. Our nation is no exception.
While it’s virtually impossible to calculate the number of animals who are neglected and abused annually due to underreporting, The Human Society of the United States reports that a whopping 71% of domestic abusers are also cruel to their pets. Additionally, 88% of people under surveillance for child abuse commit animal abuse as well.
Preventing Animal Cruelty at the Congressional Level
Although the above-mentioned statistics are disheartening, Breed Advisor is devoted to stopping animal cruelty in its tracks. We’re encouraged that congressional leaders have gotten involved bypassing the 2018 PAWS Act, which criminalizes animal abuse, and ensures domestic violence survivors are able to keep their beloved pets. Although long overdue, this act was passed at a pivotal time in history, as domestic abuse cases have skyrocketed due to stay-at-home orders and mounting stress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ending Animal Cruelty: A Guide for Individuals
We’re thrilled to see the government getting involved in the prevention of animal cruelty, but it’s important to note that there are countless steps we can take at the individual and community levels to ensure safety, security, and the best possible quality of life for each and every animal.
Spaying and Neutering Your Pets
Pet overpopulation is a massive problem in the United States. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that approximately 6.5 million pets are surrendered to animal shelters each year—about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. Sadly, 1.5 million of these former pets go on to be euthanized.
One way to help cut down on overpopulation is by spaying or neutering your pet(s). In addition to playing a part in controlling overpopulation, benefits of spaying and neutering include a longer, happier lifespan, reduced risk of health problems, and in some cases, improved behavior.
Offering to Help Pet Owners in Need
Even the most loyal, loving pet owners sometimes require assistance. Major life events can result in stress, along with other mental or physical health concerns. In some cases, folks simply can’t continue to care for their pets due to unforeseen circumstances.
If a neighbor or loved one is struggling to offer their pet(s) basic care and plenty of TLC, offer to pet sit, foster the pet(s) until life returns to normal, or gently discuss other alternatives. Sometimes an uncomfortable conversation is necessary to ensure a pet’s safety and wellbeing.
Practice compassion, and refrain from being accusatory, as this could result in additional stress.