To mark the start of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, the CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, is urging animal lovers to take action and help raise awareness in their communities. The month, championed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, aims to raise awareness of the plight of animals that are being treated cruelly across the country.
“During this month, we are imploring people to take steps, even if they are small ones, to help prevent cruelty and neglect in their own local communities,” says Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council. “Whether you have time to volunteer at your local shelter, donate items they might need or simply post information on your social media page, do something to help raise awareness. And cats represent an overwhelming need in most communities.”
The ASPCA offers tips on what you can do to help fight cruelty to animals, like getting to know the animals in your neighborhood, helping to advocate for stronger anti-cruelty laws in your state and teaching your children how to treat animals with respect and kindness. If you have an incident or situation that appears to be cruelty to animals or animal neglect, often the best place to start is by contacting your local law enforcement agency. They will be able to direct you to the agency or organization in your community that investigates these cases.
In addition, knowing the signs of abuse is important to ensuring you know when to alert local enforcement agents to a situation where an animal is being abused. These signs can range from an animal having an untreated or ongoing medical problem that the owner does not seem to be addressing to actually seeing an animal being mistreated by its owner.
“We need members of communities to be alert to the plight of animals in their area so that we can help those who need help,” says Dr. Brunt. “Ensuring that all pets get the love, respect and proper medical attention they deserve is just one way to make our neighborhoods better places for all creatures.”