We have lived among animals for thousands of years, yet animal cruelty remains a harsh reality. Our world is full of violence and cruelty, however, unlike people, animals are innocent and are unable to ask for help or protect themselves.
This is where animal cruelty prevention becomes critical.
Defined(1) as “acts of violence or neglect perpetrated against animals”, generally, animal cruelty is divided into two categories. Intentional cruelty consists of overt abuse, purposeful infliction of harm or injury on an animal, cockfighting, and dogfighting. Acts of neglect are more common and include denying basic necessities of care like shelter, water, food, or veterinary support.
While animal cruelty is visible in many ways, there are several noticeable conditions(2)
that should cause concern and lead to legal action.
In the United States, each state varies on animal cruelty laws and how animal abuse is reported. In Texas, both civil and criminal laws help to protect animals(3) from cruelty.
In civil cases, if a person is ruled to have been abusive, the animal may be taken away and a fine will be ordered.
For criminal cases, a person could face penalties including jail, fines, or both. However, Texas criminal laws only apply to domesticated animals, like house pets or livestock. According to the Texas Penal Code, the following actions define cruel punishment to an animal:
The only way to truly stop animal cruelty from happening is to recognize signs of mistreatment, report the abuse, and help raise awareness and prevention to make a change.
If animal cruelty is witnessed, call a local animal welfare agency immediately. Reporting animal abuse is the first step in ensuring animals are protected.
Parents and educators should teach children how to safely interact with animals, as well as teaching them ways to tell if an animal has been harmed and what to do if so. Spread the message through social media, wearing a wristband to raise awareness, or even hosting a fundraiser to help local shelters and rescue organizations.
Beyond all of this, people must stand up for what is right in order to make a change. Animals rely on the people around them to speak up and help.
To learn what you can do to help or to order a wristband in support of animal cruelty prevention, please visit www.rapidwristbands.com