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April Is Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Month

Be part of the solution and stop animal cruelty.

Be part of the solution and stop animal cruelty.

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.

Part 2 HSUS State Ranking: Heaven Can Wait And Lawmaker’s Responsibility To Animal Welfare

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society tries to make every day more humane for homeless pets like Dudley.  You can meet Dudley at dog adoptions each Saturday. For details go to www.hcws.org

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society tries to make every day more humane for homeless pets like Dudley. You can meet Dudley at dog adoptions each Saturday. For details go to http://www.hcws.org

By: Keely Biggs

Last month I reported on the Humane Society and the United States’ ranking of all 50 states based on animal welfare legislation. You might remember that Nevada came in at a poor 47% which was mostly due to lack of legislation on the keeping of large and dangerous exotic animals. So I set out to see what was being done about the matter.

I was able to speak to Clark County Commissioner Chairman, Steve Sisolak, who confirmed his mutual concern over exotic animals kept in neighborhoods. He cited the tragedy of CJ and Buddy, the two chimpanzees from North Las Vegas who escaped their enclosure at a personal residence last year and wandered through the streets. Their escape ended in the death of Buddy when a police officer shot the animal. Commissioner Sisolak told me that shortly after that happened; the problem grabbed the attention of Senator Michael Roberson. Although I was not able to get a hold of Senator Roberson myself, Commissioner Sisolak informed me that the keeping of large, exotic animals was of particular interest to Sen. Roberson and he was making a point to personally address that particular problem.

What does Heaven Can Wait Animal Society do on our end? Heaven Can Wait has a few great programs that take a “ground up” approach to ensure people understand the importance of respecting animals. The most prominent program is the Heaven Can Wait Youth Group. This is a great program for any child to be a part of between the ages of 10 to 18. The youth group meets monthly and takes field trips to local zoos, sanctuaries and shelters. They also participate in our feral cat clinics, fund-raisers and outreach programs. This exposes the kids to animals in a healthy way and teaches kids the importance of respecting them. The kids then act as ambassadors to their families, friends and schools. They are encouraged to take their knowledge and experiences and spread it wherever they go. Heaven Can Wait sees the importance in educating the leaders and voters of our future in order to make a lasting change.

Although Nevada’s ranking looked bleak this year, the efforts of our legislators and HCWS are promising. Let’s hope that next year’s ranking reflects a positive change. If you would like to get a child in your life involved with the Heaven Can Wait Youth Group simply contact hcwsyouth@hcws.org to request an application.  CLICK HERE to see how you can help Heaven Can Wait make Las Vegas a more humane place for animals.

Related Story:

HSUS Humane State Ranking Puts Nevada At 47%

HSUS Humane State Ranking Puts Nevada At 47%

Terry is a 9-month-old waiting at Heaven Can Wait for his forever family.

Terry is a 9-month-old waiting at Heaven Can Wait for his forever family.

By Keely Biggs

The Humane Society of the United States released its annual Humane State Ranking for 2012 putting some real insight in how individual states prioritize animal cruelty and humane treatment of animals. The ranking is based on a criteria of laws and penalties enacted by the states to prevent and punish animal cruelty.

California ranked number one again with a 74% and recently banned the hounding of bears and bobcats. The trend seen from the ranking is that states along the West coast and Northeast/New England regions tended to be the most humane. The region with the least humane states was the South.  However, South Dakota ranked last at number 51 out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This ranking was due to weak cockfighting laws and almost nonexistent penalties for cruelty.

Overall there were 74 new laws enacted in the U.S. that protect animal welfare in 2012.

So how did we rank at home? Nevada ranked a mediocre 47% fulfilling 35 out of 74 applicable criteria.

This was based mostly on the fact that our state government still hasn’t banned the possession of dangerous wild animals. That’s right! If you want to keep a Grizzly Bear in your back yard in the state of Nevada, no one will call you on it! As a matter of fact, grab a lion, tiger and a chimpanzee while you’re at it. This is important because many go without sufficient food and live in unacceptably small enclosures their whole life. In addition, the average homeowner also often lacks the necessary enclosures to keep the animals from getting loose. This can result in the animal ultimately being injured or shot by police to prevent a possible attack on residents.

This happened last July in North Las Vegas when a woman’s pet chimpanzee, Buddy, escaped his enclosure along with another chimp and was found walking down Ann Road. When the confused chimp made the decision to cross the street gaining access to the residential area on the other side, officers had to make the hard decision to shoot him. CJ, the other escaped chimp, was luckily caught and now resides in a chimpanzee sanctuary in Oregon.

Tune in to the continuation of this story to find out what Heaven Can Wait and our legislators are doing to prevent animal cruelty and improve animal cruelty laws.

Read how other states ranked in the annual survey by Clicking Here.  You can read more about Heaven Can Wait’s 5 year plan to stop pet overpopulation and animal neglect HERE.