Adopt-a-Pet

Every Cat Deserves Love

Here are easy steps you can take to make sure no pet suffers from animal cruelty.

By Stacy N. Hackett

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Cat and OwnerYou love your pet cat and shower her with affection. Unfortunately, not every animal receives such tender treatment from its owner. Every day, thousands of animals are subjected to cruel treatment from the people they rely on for proper care. It is heartbreaking to think about, but there are steps you can take to help prevent such acts of cruelty. Annemarie Lucas, animal humane law enforcements supervisory special investigator for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, offers these tips for recognizing and preventing animal cruelty.

1. Learn to recognize animal cruelty. While some signs of cruelty are immediately obvious, such as an owner physically abusing an animal, other symptoms of abuse are more subtle. Be aware of these signs:

  • Severe tick or flea infestations.
  • Obvious wounds on the animals body.
  • An animal that limps or favors a leg.
  • Extremely thin or starving animals.
  • Patches of missing hair on the animals body.
  • Dogs chained up in a yard without access to food, water or shelter.
  • Animals that act fearfully or aggressively around their owners.

2. Report acts of animal cruelty. Animal humane officers would not know about instances of animal cruelty without reports from concerned citizens. If you suspect an animal in your neighborhood is being abused, report it to the proper authorities.

3. Know how to report animal cruelty. While some cities employ animal humane law enforcement officers, not every city has dedicated staff to investigate and arrest people who commit acts of animal cruelty. You may need to call your citys police department or contact the local animal control office. If you're not sure who to call, ask your local animal shelter.

4. Give as much information as possible. When you call to report an act of animal cruelty, try to give the investigating officer as many details as possible. Write down what you witnessed, and include details such as the breed of dog, who was involved, the date of the incident and the location. The more information you provide, the better.

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Every Cat Deserves Love

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Reader Comments

lou    boston, MA

6/12/2012 7:49:09 AM

all animals need to be treated with respect, yet there are some humans who do not respect human life so they will not respect ohters

Judy    Knightdale, NC

5/25/2012 6:02:42 AM

This article should be publicized on Good Morning
America and on all media channels. Cruelty has got to STOP. I have reported animal abuse so many times, sometimes with good results, some bad results- but needs to be reported always no matter what the outcome. Animal Control officers are overworked, so the public should be the "advocate for animals".

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

2/14/2012 5:07:46 AM

It is so sad that there are people out there that abuse animals. Unfortunately, you need to live in a state where they actually prosecute you for abusing animals. Ohio does not have strong enough laws on this. I have two rescues off the street kitties and two adopted from shelter kitties. I will always adopt.

cat water fountain    frisco, TX

1/12/2012 9:33:17 AM

This is a good article. I think that it is important to know how to report animal abuse. Having a pet is a privilege, not a right.

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