Statistics show that an animal is abused in America every ten seconds so Canadian animals are likely to experience similar rates of abuse. These reports show an alarming disregard for the pain and suffering that we as supposed ‘humane’ beings, inflict on our mostly helpless fellow creatures.
The suffering ranges from:
Out-right deliberate cruelty – those who for unfathomable reasons derive pleasure from inflicting and/or watching animals suffer pain. Dog-fighting comes to mind, although there are also cock-fighting and even cockroach fighting rings through-out the world among many, many other less ‘enjoyed’ blood sport events. It sometimes seems man-‘kind’ is anything but kind.
General Insensitivity towards the raising, handling and slaughtering of domestic farm animals or the ongoing horrors of puppy mills.Think about chickens, pigs and cows stuffed into horribly over-crowded cages or pens and then shoved around by bull-dozers when they are too weak from illness or poor treatment by their so-called caretakers. Consider chickens strung up in terror by their feet and moved along conveyor belts toward their torturous deaths or puppies crammed into wire cages with no protection against the cold wire cutting between their toes with little or no food and left to lay in their own waste.
Neglect. In some ways this is the most insidious. This shows how disconnected people are from the feelings and very basic needs of animals. How many puppies are brought joyfully home, only to be ignored when the “cute” factor or worse, chained in a backyard left all alone because the puppy grew up? Or the beautiful “free” kitten that grew up and wasn’t so cute and playful anymore, left out on the streets to fend for itself?
You’ve seen all the PSA’s on TV or in newspaper articles and animal protection ads. It seems that we should not expect much from our species as we seem to have troubles looking after ourselves at many times. However, we can and should expect much more. At the core of our species is a generous and caring heart. We’ve seen it spark for brief moments in times of universal need, or even when the need of one individual – or animal – comes to our attention. A recent example would be the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan. Or what about the one hundred sled dogs that were needlessly slaughtered in Whistler, British Columbia? Well, that’s what National Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month is all about: to reawaken that caring nature in each and everyone of us. As a group, or even as an individual, much can be done to assure that all living creatures experience best possible existence they each deserve.
Start with a pat of your own pet’s head. Take him/her out for a walk or give your pet a good grooming.
Right now, as an individual you can:
* Become a member of your local SPCA.
* Report all acts of cruelty and neglect.
* Be a responsible pet owner and ensure your pets are spayed and/or neutered.
* Adopt from a rescue or a shelter.
* Teach compassion and lead by example
Start talking to your fellow pet owners as you watch the joy on your pet’s face while he plays with his buddies or his favorite toy. Discuss what you as part of your community can do to improve the lives of all animals, then actually so something about it by contacting and supporting animal protection groups who are already hard at work to improve the living conditions of the creatures with whom we share this planet. There are many pro-animal events through-out this month and year. Attend one. Celebrate. Contribute, and do something personal today to bring awareness to all around you of the needs of all animals.