Every day in the United States animals are beaten, neglected, and forced to struggle for survival. They are left in horrible conditions, ones without any food and or water. Some are lucky, they are found and rescued, being given a chance to survive by being cared for in a shelter or even given a new home. But others, aren’t so lucky. We must fight for these animals’ rights and punish the heartless owners. Its up to us to speak up for these creatures who don’t have a voice. The first step, protecting them and creating effective laws.
There are actually two categories: passive cruelty and active cruelty. Passive is acts as a result of neglect or lack of action. Even though it may seen less serious, but its not true. It can lead to pain and suffering, and sometimes death. Examples, starvation, dehydration, untreated infections, improper shelter, and failure to get medical care. Passive cruelty is mainly due the owners ignorance. Active cruelty on the other hand, is more well known. This type of abuse involves purposefully inflicting harm on an animal.
This kind of cruelty should be taken very seriously. These people who commit these crimes might get worse and move on from animals to something else, other humans per say. Its hard to tell what drives people to harm animals for sure. Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are those who have no history of animal abuse. (“A 1997 study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” “pet abuse. com”).
Most who abuse animals find a sort of fulfillment or power because they know they can’t fight back. I mean yeah, not all who commit animal abuse become serial killers or rapists, its still important to take every case seriously. Examples of this though would include, Carroll Edward Cole was a west cost killer who killed as many as 35 women in the 1970s and 80s, and was executed in 1985. Based on Cole’s testimony, his first violent act was strangling a puppy. The Columbine school shooting is another example of animal abuse as a precursor to human violence.
Before killing 12 classmates and then turning the guns on themselves, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebod had bragged to friends about mutilating animals. If these acts had been reported to authorities and taken seriously, these two young men might have been put in a proper facility and helped, possibly avoiding the horrific massacre. Given these examples, it’s hard to imagine why all states don’t take animal cruelty seriously. Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota have no provisions for cruelty to animals.
According to the Humane Society, a good felony law should protect all animals, apply to first-time offenders, carry large fines and lengthy prison time, have no exemptions, require convicted abusers to get counseling at their own expense, and prohibit abusers from owning or living among animals. Along with these laws we need officials who will strongly enforce them. Police, psychologists, and even the FBI recognize the link between animal cruelty and violence against people. To better protect communities, all states should institute strong penalties and work to increase public awareness of these crimes.
It’s not only up to the legal system to make sure that communities across the country are aware and educated about animal cruelty. There are plenty of things everyday citizens can do. The simplest action is for people to take care of their own pets and learn the facts so they can educate others on proper animal care. Another easy way to help is by donating to or volunteering at a local animal shelter. Contrary to popular belief, volunteering doesn’t require a lot of time; simply going in a few hours a week helps tremendously.
Finally, by writing letters you can remind your local lawmakers that animal abuse is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Taking a few minutes to support this worthy cause not only helps animals, it allows you to feel proud about standing up for something so important to society. It is our job to be the voice for creatures who cannot speak up for themselves. As a nation we need to make it our priority to come together and ensure the safety of our beloved pets. As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ”