Animal Abuse Prevention:
Things "Normal People" Can Do
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for animal abuse, but there are so many things we can all
do to help. None of them will make animal abuse disappear tomorrow, but every little bit helps lower the risk further down
And you don't have to be an animal "fanatic" to do it. You don't have to be a member of every
animal rights organization on earth. There are so many things "regular"people can to do to have an impact...
Take care of the animals you have,
and encourage others to do the same...
For the most part, many people's hearts are in the right place when it comes to their pets,
they simply don't know all the facts. In educating people about how to better care for their own animals, we hear many of
the same excuses, and they don't even *realize* that they are inadvertently putting their animals at greater risk, because
no one has ever explained it to them. So the first part is to get involved enough to Educate Yourself. Then you can begin educating other people.
Protecting Your Pets
Protecting your animals is the best way to prevent them from harm, and the only way to do that is to
educate yourself. We obviously don't have any control over the people who would cause them harm, - at least not *before* your
pet becomes a victim. By exercising some caution beforehand, you can greatly reduce the risk of your pet becoming a victim.
Give Children the Chance to Care
As you know, parenting is NOT a spectator sport, and although your school system should (and even might) have humane education
programs as part of their curriculum, there are so many ways to get involved with helping your child understand the importance
of compassion for animals. It will allow you to spend quality time with your child, and will help to impress upon them an
appreciation for life.
Its not uncommon for young children to experiment with abusive behavior towards animals at a young age. Most of them learn
through teachers, social situations, and good parenting that abuse is wrong, and the child discontinues the abusive behavior.
This is a fairly critical time, in our opinion, and if any one of those corrective elements is missing, that child is high
risk for potentially becoming more abusive later on. It is imperative that you reinforce positive relationships
with animals with your children.
Some Ways to Get Them Involved:
- See if your local community has programs such as shelter interaction or wildlife rehabilitation specifically
targeted at youth, to give them a hands-on sense of caring and responsibility for animals.
- If you have a family pet, make sure the children are involved with caring for the animal. Help them look up information
online or in the library about the animal, and help them feel a sense of responsibility for the animal's health and welfare.
- Participate in humane education activities with your child. There are loads of great resources out there that have
been designed specifically to teach and encourage respect towards animals. Here are just a few:
- Teach them to tell someone if they see an animal being abused - let them know that they will not get in trouble
for "tattletale-ing", even if the abuser is an adult.
- Show them how other children make a difference! Letting them see how, even as children, they
have the power and ability to do some amazing things if they want to will be a message they will carry with them for the rest
of their lives! If you work with them on something like this, it can have tremendous impact on them. For example, you could
make it a tradition that every year, at least two items on their Christmas list must be for a local animal shelter. You can
then go with your child to deliver the presents to the shelter, where the appreciation and gratitude of both the shelter and
the pets will be a long-lasting reward that will stay with them for a lifetime.
- Be a good role model! You are one of the most influential people in your child's life. Teach them to be humane
and caring towards animals by being humane and caring towards animals yourself. A child notices more than you may realize,
and your words and actions will often have more of an impact than all their years of education in school combined.
Do NOT be afraid to report animal abuse to the authorities if you see it happening. The animals can't call 911 themselves.
They depend on us.
Volunteer/Donate to a local rescue shelter...
Not all of us have a lot of time or money at our disposal, but many people don't realize how
little it takes. Rescue shelters are always eager for any help you can give them and most
of them are tremendously appreciative if you can just come in a few hours a week to *play* with the animals! Obviously, if
you can do more, you definitely should. But the point is that the overall perception of what's involved with "volunteering"
always is that it has to consume huge quantities of your life. Its great if you're in a position where it *can*, but even
a few hours a week can make a difference.
And most importantly, be creative! If you have a little extra time, help the rescue shelters
organize car washes, bake sales, whatever else you can think of to help them raise funding for the work that they do. With
a group of people working on it, it doesn't need to consume your life. Sometimes all they need is someone to think of the
Monetary donations help to care for the animals and the facilities, but many times they also
help fund educational programs that the shelters are running to try to stop abuse through long term education. Many people
participate in "planned giving" through their wills, specifying that a portion of their estate/assets is donated to their
favorite shelters and abuse prevention education programs after they have passed away.
And certainly, Pet-Abuse.Com can use all the help we can get, too! Since everything is volunteer-run
with no government assistance, just a few bucks can go a long way to help to accomplish the primary goals. Just a small donation can help tremendously!