by Lucy Bobeck
April is National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. The event was started by the ASPCA to call attention to the countless animals that are abused, neglected and abandoned each year and how individuals can fight against it.
Around 7 million animals enter shelters each year. Approximately 4 million are euthanized. Sadly only 40 percent of dogs are adopted, and cats have a 30 percent adoption rate. Half of the animals entering shelters are owner surrenders.
Why are so many animals let down by the people who are supposed to take care of them? Society, too often, does not value animals and sees them as disposable. Or owners do not take the time to train pets to obey even simple commands. (Behavior problems rank high on the reasons dogs and cats are surrendered.)
How can we change an uncaring world into one that values our beautiful, loyal animals? The ASPCA thinks each person can make a personal difference and suggests these tips for recognizing and reporting animal abuse:
- Know who to call in your community to report abuse.
- Get to know the animals in your neighborhood.
- Call authorities when you see something amiss.
- Fight for the passage of anti-cruelty laws.
- Talk to kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect.
- Support your local shelter or rescue group.
Heaven Can Wait helps every day by seeing that the dogs we rescue are ready to be adopted into new homes through our Pups on Parole training program. Our Angels for Animals humane education programs provides school children with direct, grade level information on caring for, and respecting animals. And our Youth Group gets kids involved in helping homeless animals in the community.
What’s the best way to solve the problem? Prevent it in the first place by eliminating pet overpopulation through spay and neuter. Heaven Can Wait’s targeted spay and neuter programs are instrumental in preventing unwanted litters of puppies or kittens from being born and ultimately being surrendered to shelters.
Let’s work toward every home being a loving home.
Get involved in stopping animal cruelty in Las Vegas by completing the HCWS volunteer application.
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