This page specifically offered in support
of all the efforts to prevent cruelty and alleviate the
pain, fear and suffering of animals through nationwide
education, awareness, legal and legislative programs.
In New York State, some of the first state animal welfare
laws were enacted to protect horses and cattle. Today, each
state has some form of anti-cruelty law, and protection
extends to many other species. But there is much more to be
done through federal, state and local efforts to strengthen
Animal abuse can take many forms. Beating an animal is just
one of them. The failure of a human caregiver to provide a
companion animal with food, 24/7, keeping a dog in a cage or
dog walk that is too small, tying the dog to a chain or rope
water, veterinary care or, in some locations, shelter,
constitutes neglect. Leaving an animal locked in a car or
tied outside in very hot or cold weather is
unlawful. Abandoning a pet is a crime.
Individual animals also suffer in factory farms, puppy
mills, fur farms, research laboratories and cruel traps.
Local and area Humane Law Enforcement peace officers are
empowered to safeguard animals across your state through
inspections, seizures and arrests. They respond to animal
cruelty complaints, which can involve pet shops, animal
shelters, individuals who have more animals than they can
care for properly, and illegal cockfights and dogfights.
They also inspect carriage horses, stables, movie sets,
rodeos, circuses, and zoos on a regular basis. HLE officers
as well as Humane Education and Public Information staff
seek to educate people about necessary care and compassion
for animals, not only to prevent animal abuse, but also to
remedy questionable situations.
Animal cruelty is a felony in slightly more than a majority
of states at this time, and the animal protection
organizations around the country continue to lobby in state
capitals for stronger anticruelty measures. It has been
established that many notorious mass murderers and other
dangerous criminals have had a history of animal abuse, but
many judges and prosecutors still must be educated to the
seriousness of animal abuse.
MORE ADVANCED OPTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Key goals of the program are:
Cross-training among human service and
animal welfare agencies
Information-sharing among agencies and
effective public education
Psycho-educational intervention for abusers
Foster care for animals at risk
Cruelty investigators throughout the United Statesbe they
sheriffs, police officers or local animal shelter or control
personnel are prepared to assist citizens by serving cruelty
summonses and/or arresting violators.
How You Can Help
If you witness or hear about animal cruelty, report it to
your local humane organization, police or sheriff.
Currently, a witness to an abusive act may be required to
testify in court to support the charge, which hopefully will
result in the removal of the animal from the threatening
environment, sometimes permanently.
In many states, animal cruelty crimes are classified only
as misdemeanors. However, lobbying is taking place in many
states to make intentional cruelty to animals a felony.
Contact your local Government Affairs and Public Policy
department, which can advise you on ways you can help,
including writing to your lawmakers.
Make sure schools in your town include humane education as
part of their curriculum or lesson plans.
IT ONLY TAKES ABOUT AN HOUR EVERY FEW YEARS OF DIRECT AND
VIABLE INFORMATION TO NOTICEABLY CURB THESE PROBLEMS.
Volunteer at a local animal shelter, foster a shelter
animal or adopt a companion animal. Support your local
animal rescue organization or shelter with food, supplies or
time. NEVER provide money.
If you have a companion animal, be responsible and provide
him or her with annual veterinary check-ups. Spay or neuter
your cat or dog to reduce the pet population. License your
dog and obey the leash laws to ensure his or her safety.
Help 21st Century CARES speak out for mistreated animals.
Legislation, enforcement, education, awareness and public
action all work toward the prevention of cruelty to animals.
REALIZE THAT THOSE WHO ABUSE OR NEGLECT THROUGH VICIOUS
MEANS OR SIMPLE IGNORANCE ARE NOT GOING TO VISIT SITES SUCH
AS THIS. SO, ANY INFORMATION GAINED FROM THIS OR SIMILAR
SITES MUST BE SHARED BY YOU. IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO?