While anti-animal cruelty groups have been known to throw red paint on furs and use other shock tactics, they are about much more. Animal cruelty is widespread and it isn’t something that petmedsalone can cure. It is a mindset and a lifestyle that needs to be changed through action, education, and legislation. Groups like the ASPCA, PETA, the American Humane Association, and Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. are lobbying for serious lawmaking and moving towards important changes in society.
Before 1986, only 4 states had animal cruelty laws. Currently, 47 states have felony provisions for animal cruelty. That’s good progress, but animal cruelty still occurs throughout the country. The question is how did we get here? What have animal activists done in the past to build awareness of animal abuse and make conditions safer for animals today?
It’s a small first step, but educating the public about animal abuse is one of the most important in-roads to progress. If people aren’t aware of what is happening to animals, how can it be stopped? Anti-animal cruelty groups provide numerous resources to educate the public,especially children, about how to recognize and report cruelty. On the other hand, anti-animal cruelty groups give lots of advice on how to be kind to animals and take care of them properly and without harm.
At the most basic level, animal rights can’t be upheld if the laws don’t reflect a commitment to change. The legislation might be a victory, like New York City banning live bird markets from opening within 1,500 feet of a private residence, or a setback, like the Court of Appeals in Maryland declaring all pit bulls “dangerous.”
Anti-animal cruelty groups are working with Senators, Congressmen, and local legislature to get certain bills passed into law and other harmful laws repealed. Donations and any other help are always appreciated, whether it’s collecting signatures, emailing your state representatives, volunteering time, or simply talking to others.
The ASPCA has an adoption center in New York City, as well as a database of animals available for adoption at shelters all over the country. When considering adopting an animal, don’t rule out adopting an animal from a shelter. If there is a no-kill shelter locally, all the better. A no-kill shelter is defined as one that reserves euthanasia for animals that are terminally ill or considered dangerous. While these shelters are more expensive to maintain, they can be a much healthier and happier environment for the animals living there.
Sometimes animals need humans to step in and rescue them. It may be saving dogs from the harsh conditions of puppy mills or illegal fighting rings. It could also be recovering dogs from the rubble of a natural disaster or the home of an unfit owner. Anti-animal cruelty groups and their volunteers are always at the ready to save an animal in need.
While smaller local communities may not have the resources of national anti-animal cruelty groups, there are ways to get involved that can make an impact. Consider starting a neighborhood watch group, or volunteering at the local shelter as smaller echoes of what these national organizations do. It is just as important.
Animals don’t have a voice, so people must speak for them. Anti-animal cruelty groups are fighting the fight for humane treatment that animals cannot. Many of us consider our pets to be part of our family, and would never let them be subjected to abusive situations.If it is in your heart to do, consider being an advocate for animals outside of your family that need a voice; don’t just sit by and watch – do something.
Jackie is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds, and loves to help and support the pet community. You can find Pet Meds on Twitter or connect with Pet Meds on Facebook.