As caring parents of loved and revered pets, the turning of a blind-eye to the existence of animal cruelty is a truly difficult task. We love and respect our pets for the companionship and unwavering loyalty that they give us freely and without expectation of anything in return. How anyone could possibly be cruel to an animal is unfathomable.
Animal cruelty is, however, all around us, all of the time. Preventing such cases and protecting animal welfare takes us all.
Aside from certain sections of the Criminal Code of Canada, Provincial laws outline the ways in which animal rights are protected and enforced. The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act & Provincial Animal Welfare Act, 2008, are the statues that legislate and dictate public policy and responsibilities in this province. But what can we do as responsible pet owners?
Keep A Diligent Eye
In most cases of animal cruelty in the home, the owner does not realise the damage that they are inflicting or the consequences of their actions. Neglect is often unintended but is the largest threat to a pet’s welfare but can be hard to spot. Some of the more common signs of neglect and threats to a pet’s welfare include:
Any instances of physical abuse of an animal should be immediately reported to the authorities, and likewise if such symptoms as listed above are seen within your community the best course of action is to contact your local police, animal control or humane society to discuss your concerns. Risking a confrontation with a neighbour can be unpleasant and even dangerous for any pet and persons involved, these professionals can respond to reported concerns and follow-up when needed with an investigation to ensure that any animals involved are safe.
One of the primary causes of neglect or abuse is a lack of education on what constitutes responsible pet care and ownership. Here are some examples of great sources of education for pet rearing:
Organisations such as the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society and the University of Guelph’s Campbell Centre For The Study Of Animal Welfare exist to help protect the rights of animals in Ontario and to promote their welfare through education. With their help and the diligence of responsible pet owners, we can go a long way towards eradicating the abuse of animals in our communities.
For more information on animal abuse and what you can do to combat it, contact your veterinarian today for more information.