April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Cruelty Prevention graphicApril is “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.” The ASPCA, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, began this important month for animals eight years ago and it is now a nationwide celebration of the human-animal bond and of victories on behalf of animals.

The Humane Society of Greenwood wants all to realize that animal abuse and neglect occurs in their own community. It’s important to recognize the signs of neglect, whether it’s intentional or not, and to report it for the sake of the animal. Here are 9 Ways to Prevent Animal Cruelty and to help make the world a safer place for animals. If you know of or witness animal abuse or neglect, immediately call 911.

  1. helping animalsBe aware. Without phone calls from the concerned citizens who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, law enforcement wouldn’t know about most instances of animal abuse. It all comes from the public, it all starts with YOU—that’s why it’s so important to keep your eyes and ears open. Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By being aware, you’re more likely to notice, for example, that the dog next door who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly—a possible indicator of abuse or neglect.
  2. Learn to recognize animal cruelty. Here are some signs and symptoms seen in many of the cases investigated:
    • Tick or flea infestations. Such a condition, if left untreated by a veterinarian, can lead to an animal’s death.
    • Wounds on the body.
    • Patches of missing hair.
    • Extremely thin, starving animals.
    • Limping.
    • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal.
    • Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.
    • Dogs who have been hit by cars-or are showing any of the signs listed above-and have not been taken to a veterinarian.
    • Dogs who are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.
    • Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.
  3. saving catsKnow who to call to report animal cruelty. In Greenwood, SC you can call your local animal control officers at (864)942-8679. If it is after hours or you are unsure who to call, dial 911. For other areas, contact your local law enforcement agency. The state of South Carolina has laws protecting animals from abuse and neglect.
  4. Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting the investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty that you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.
  5. Call or write your local law enforcement department and let them know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority. Animal cruelty is a CRIME—and the police MUST investigate these crimes.
  6. Know your state’s animal cruelty laws. These vary from state to state, and even from city to city. You can visit the ASPCA’s online database of more than 550 animal cruelty laws—and their penalties—in all 50 states. In South Carolina, Titles 16 and 47 specifically address crimes against animals.
  7. Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care that they deserve. But it’s more than just food, water, and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring him to the veterinarian. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered.
  8. Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. If a parent isn’t treating the family’s pets right, tell kids that their dog or cat would really appreciate fresh water every day, or if they spent some time playing with them. If the animal has been left outside without shelter, you can mention, “You have a nice house, and if you get cold, you can put a coat on. But your dog can’t do that. Don’t you think he’d like a nice warm place to go, too?”
  9. Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization. Volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to learn about what is happening in your community and it’s a great way to make a positive difference.

Helpful Links To Learn More

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