A Cry For Help: The Truth About Animal Abuse

November 16, 2009
By Haley Greenslade BRONZE, Topsfield, Massachusetts
Haley Greenslade BRONZE, Topsfield, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

What is it?

Every year, there are around 1,500 reported cases of animal abuse. As listed by pet-abuse.com, there are currently 12,981 reported cases of abuse in the United States alone, dating back to January 1870. Year by year, the numbers have grown, hitting a peak in 2006 with 2,708 cases. These horrendous acts of violence and anguish range from shooting puppies to poisoning kittens, the various ways of abuse stretching on.

Animal abuse is committed by virtually every type of person; the young, the old; male or female. The most common age range for animal abusers, overall, is 31-40 years, the ages spanning out for both youth and elder. Children as young as nine years old take part in animal abuse, whether intentional or not, as do seniors aging 61 years or higher. Studies have been undertaken to show that a large amount of abuse is commended by those under the influence of drugs and alcohol. What is all of this information telling us, though? Basically, it is informing us that the dominant factor in animal abuse is psychological. While the younger generation most likely takes part in this act for enjoyment, the older age group may abuse animals due to stress, anxiety, or, for either age groups, a mental illness. While a mental illness cannot be as well controlled, one can only imagine what is going on in the minds of those that purely do it for enjoyment or sport. Even if one is stressed out or angry towards the creature, there is no reason at all as to why an individual should treat any living being with that sort of pain and disrespect. In fact, thirty-one out of the fifty states in the U.S. require all who have been convicted of abusing animals to receive counseling. No matter how angry you are, how bored you might be, or how tough you want to appear, abuse in any form is not the way to turn.

When it comes to animal abuse, nearly every single animal suffers. A majority of people most likely believe that is it only dogs and cats, yet it extends much further. While these are two of the most common victims, horses are also targeted at, as well as birds, cows, pigs, deer, and rabbits- the list stretches on and on. Name an animal, and there is an extremely high chance that is has been abused. Take a squirrel, for example. Many consider this animal to be a disease-carrying, annoying beast. This creature has a soul, though, and it, like any other specimen, deserves to live. Yet, a number or inexcusable shootings have occurred to squirrels, and some of the perpetrators, in fact, have been convicted. Another unexpected case of abuse happens to raccoons. These pesky trash-pickers are not even thought about when animal abuse, but there are over 50 cases related to raccoons on pet-abuse.com, and a large number or people have been convicted, alleged, or received a state citation for cases relating to raccoons. Land roamer or water dweller, virtually every type of animal is abused.

Stories of Success

Despite these helpless animals suffering from horrid conditions, a large number of them, with the right therapy and care, can be healed. One of my closest friends, for example, has a young puppy that she got from a shelter in Puerto Rico. When you first lay your eyes on this creature, it is clear that it was mistreated in the past. The pup was extremely skinny, ribs jutting out on both sides. If you took one step towards him, he would scamper away in a heartbeat. And, if a large group was at the house, the dog would hide under a table or in a corner, completely afraid of those it did not know. Now, however, about five months later, the pup’s temperament has warmed up. Although he still has a slight fear of men, the canine is much friendlier towards visitors, specifically the ones with which he is familiar. When you approach him slowly and quietly, he will allow you to stroke his jet-black fur, and he is often energetic and playful. The months dedicated by my friends’ family nurturing the timid dog clearly paid off, as he is now a sweet, affectionate puppy.

Another example of an animal success story exists with a three-year old pit-bull, named “Sarge.” Found in the attic of a home in South Carolina, the dog was deathly skinny, and had indications that his mouth has previously been duct-taped and chained up. After weeks of rehabilitation, including medicine and hydrotherapy, he was adopted by a family. Within a month of owning him, the dog that was once in horrible condition had gained nearly thirty pounds. Those who followed the dog from beginning to end can now boast that his past is undetectable, masked by his joy and loving nature. With proper care, even the most heartbreaking stories can have a happy ending.

How Can I Help?

Even though you may not know it, animal abuse could be occurring right next door. There is a high chance that it is or has occurred in your city or town, or in a community near yours. If you witness animal abuse, or suspect it, don’t be afraid to call an animal abuse prevention organization in your area, such as the ASPCA, which exists throughout all of the U.S.A. Certain states also have these associations, such as the MSPCA, which is for Massachusetts.

You can also help by writing letters, and encouraging others to do so, to your local government, as only 31 of the 50 states –a mere 62%- have conviction laws against animal abuse. Although it may seem like one letter won’t help, a group of people, or even your own individual effort, can contribute towards a brighter future. Animal abuse isn’t taken as seriously in some states as in others, yet it is a horrendous offense that should be dealt with on the strongest terms.

An easy way to fight animal abuse is to donate money or supplies to your local shelter, or volunteer at one. Your time and hard work will be appreciated, and even if you don’t have the money to give them, it is likely that blankets, food, or toys would be accepted. Also, if the amount of free time you have is low, as little as a few hours would be cherished. If you reach out your hand and open up you heart, there will always be someone on the other side.

Overall, any form of help you give will not be taken for granted. In fact, every dollar spent or time donated can help. Whether you donate 1,000 dollars to a shelter or simply set good examples of proper pet care for younger children, you are creating a safer world for all animals.

The author's comments:
I decided to write this article as I am a great lover of animals and the thought of their abuse tortures me. Through reading this article I hope that not only teens but all humans will realize the horrid facts behind animal abuse and what we can do to help. The website used for the facts in this article is http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/search.php

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