Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 12: Community Blog Post #7: This I Believe: Supporting Animal Rights

    The many animals across the world need our help and commitment to stop cruelty and abuse.  I have always been an animal lover because animals express such amazing devotion to us as humans and they are excellent companions and friends.  An issue that is near and dear to my heart is promoting animal rights.  Animal abuse and neglect needs to stop so that animals do not have to live in fear for their safety and for their lives.  I firmly believe that all animals should be treated fairly and with the compassion that they deserve. 

    We have the responsibility to look out for the well-being of innocent animals because they do not have a voice to speak for themselves.  Abuse and violence against human beings is wrong, not to mention illegal, so why should cruelty against animals be any different?  Over the years, there have been very diligent efforts made by animal rights organizations and volunteers.  However, there is still much work that needs to be done to ensure that we can protect as many animals as possible.

    Animal cruelty exists in many forms.  It is important to know about these types of illegal activity so that they can be reported, so that these animals can be removed from a dangerous situation, and so that other innocent animals do not suffer.  According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), an animal is abused every 60 seconds.  One type of abuse and animal neglect is animal hoarding which includes having an unusually high number of animals in a household.  When this results in an inability of the human caregivers or owners to provide the basic needs of proper shelter, food, and veterinary care for the animals, it becomes a case of animal hoarding. 

    This neglect can lead to these innocent animals falling ill, becoming severely malnourished, and eventually dying from the neglectful treatment.  While many animal hoarders suffer from mental illness and believe they are helping to shelter animals by keeping them off the street, it is important to call a local animal shelter, animal welfare group, or veterinarian to help the animals and the owners from continuing to live in this type of harmful environment.  The animals really suffer and need our help so that they can be healthy, happy, and receive the care that they need.

    Illegal dog fighting is another example of animal cruelty and it needs to stop because helpless dogs are forced to fight other dogs, even if it leads to severe injuries or death.  These fights often take place on street corners or in other public areas, and horrible and cruel people make up the audiences that gather to watch this activity.  Many different dogs, including an increasing amount of pit bulls, are bred to be aggressive and they are often beaten and starved in order to encourage and instill violent tendencies in their minds.  Animals should be protected, loved, and cared for as “man’s best friend,” and this abusive dog fighting is yet another example of a brutal act that undermines our duty to look out for these innocent creatures and their best interests. 

    Please check out this inspirational video that talks about the story of a wonderful dog named Miley that suffered horrible neglect, but overcame her past and now lives a happy life.  I hope that this video helps prove to you that animals can indeed triumph, move on from the effects of abuse, and have a happy ending to their journey:

    There are many animal shelters that house dogs, cats, and other household pets that have been abused, neglected, or surrendered by their owners.  The shelters have animals with many different background stories and life histories.  Some animals were the helpless victims of the activities mentioned above; many were shot, beaten, or abandoned in the street by the very people that were supposed to love and care for them.  According to the Humane Society, between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year.   Of these, about 3 to 4 million are euthanized simply because there are not enough people adopting and the shelter does not have enough space to house all of the animals.

    These animals need our help so that they can live a great life.  Think about it---why would you make the decision to buy a pet instead of adopting an innocent dog or cat from an animal shelter so that they can have a loving home and a chance at life?  Shelter animals can be very loving pets and they are often very well-behaved and grateful to be taken in by a loving family.  Without a happy home, many of these animals live in fear and are scared every day that they will be harmed further.  These animals need a voice, they need a fighting chance, they need you.   Please check out this video about shelter animals.  It is my hope that you will develop a better understanding of how badly these animals need our help.  Please consider adopting a pet in need:

    Also, please take a look at the sweet, adorable dog below.  I found his incredible story on the Huffington Post’s website.  His name is Dozer and he was shot.  He survived by taking shelter underneath a porch for several days before he received any medical attention.  His bullet wound was severely infected and he required month’s worth of hospital stays and emergency surgeries to heal.  With the help of the Trio Animal Foundation in Chicago, as well as countless hours and dedication from a caring veterinary staff, Dozer made a full recovery.  He has found his forever home as he was adopted by one of the veterinary technicians who helped care for him.  He is much happier now that he is receiving the love and dedication that he deserves.

    As you can see, abused animals, including dogs, cats, and other household pets, need our help.  Please stand up for the rights of animals everywhere.  You can donate your time by volunteering at your local humane society or animal welfare organization.  Monetary donations to the Humane Society or the ASPCA are always appreciated and will be put towards stopping abuse and neglect.  In regards to your own pets, the Humane Society recommends that you spay or neuter all animals and make sure they always wear an identification tag.  In addition, you can educate your family, friends, neighbors, and community by informing them of the issues that need our attention and letting them know how they can help as well. 

    It is important to report animal abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.  According to the Michigan Humane Society’s website, to report animal cruelty in Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park, you can call the Michigan Humane Society's Cruelty Hotline at 313-872-3401.  You can leave a voice mail message after hours and you can remain anonymous.  However, it is still important to give sufficient information in regards to the type of animal being abused, the situation, and the street address if known.  This way, the animal will have a greater chance of being helped and the abuse can stop.  For residents living in other areas, it is important to call your local animal control or police department to report animal cruelty or neglect.  We need to be the voices for animals and take a stand against the abuse.

    I think it is time for us all to step up more and take a stand against the harmful treatment of animals.  Why would any of us stand by and allow such vicious cruelty to occur at the expense of these poor, innocent animals?  We need to be the advocates and protectors of our animal friends.  Sitting by and doing nothing is not an option.  There are too many ways to get involved.  Volunteer, donate, adopt, educate—these are all options.   Animals have long been our companions and allies---it is time for us to return the favor and look out for the very animals that have provided us with the most beautiful acts of unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion.  We owe them that much and more, please go out there and support the rights of animals in any way that you can---our animal friends will thank you!

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