The one thing more upsetting than a poor child welfare situation is when the welfare of a helpless animal suffers. Calling people out for animal cruelty can be tricky, but when we see it happening, we must act and act quickly. The animal’s life could depend on it.
What is Animal Welfare?
The term ‘animal welfare’ refers to an animal’s overall state of well-being. Things that play into an animal’s welfare include:
(1) The food they eat. Do they get fed regularly? Are they being fed the best quality food available?
(2) The environment in which they live. Is where they live clean? Are the owners careful to not leave things lying around that might harm the animal?
(3) The medical care they get. Do they get regular vet checkups?
(4) How they behave. Do they get adequate play time and exercise?
(5) Their overall state of mind. If there are problems with items 1 – 4, this can adversely affect an animal’s mental state.
How to Intervene in Situations that Involve Animal Welfare
So, what should you do when you see an animal who appears to be suffering? The first thing to do is report it. Get witnesses if you can but report the situation to the authorities immediately. That being said, here are some other ways you can help.
(1) Lead by Example. The best way to fight cruelty to animals is to be a responsible pet owner yourself. This is especially important if you have children. They should be taught early on about the need to be kind to animals and the best way to teach them is to show them.
(2) Consider Fostering. Animals who have been mistreated or abandoned, need to know there’s someone out there who cares. Fostering a pet is a great way to show them that someone loves them. And who knows? Maybe with you, they will have found their forever home? How could that be bad?
(3) Advocate for Tougher Penalties for Animal Cruelty. Stricter laws and harsher penalties can be a deterrent to animal abuse and neglect.
(4) Offer Help. There are many cases where an animal suffering has nothing to do with intent. Sometimes people just get overwhelmed. They may have lost a job and don’t have the money for proper food or vet care. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people. Step up and lend a hand if you can.