April is "Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month"

To help educate the public, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has made April "Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month." People are urged to spend time this month to educate themselves and others about existing animal cruelty laws and to support pending legislation.

Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month is 30 days where every day we can show our support of animals and tell everyone and anyone “we stand together and will not tolerate abuse and neglect of animals!”

According to the ASPCA website, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that make intentional cruelty a felony charge. Intentional abuse is just that – hitting, choking, kicking, deliberate starvation, etc. Unintentional abuse comes from ignorance; the abuser does not know how to care for the pet.

If you suspect someone is abusing a pet, don't confront that person directly. This is for your own safety, and the long-term interest of the pet. Call the police or your local animal control officer.

“Our Humane Investigations department responds to over 400 requests for service each year in Bradford County and now Sullivan County,” states Jennifer L. Spencer, Executive Directors at Bradford County Humane Society. “We hope to bring those numbers down by continuing to engage the hearts, hands and minds of the public and being a strong voice for animals.”

“Many of the reported cases of cruelty we investigate have a close parallel to weather,” states Humane Officer Hawbaker, from Bradford County Humane Society. “Many of the calls are seasonal related. Examples include pets being left outside in the summer heat with no water and situations where animals are left out in the extreme cold without shelter.”

“Humane education gives Bradford County Humane Society the ability to prevent animal cruelty before it starts,” states Jennifer L. Spencer. “Our focus is to help students develop compassion, empathy, and respect for animals. We can change attitudes regarding what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to how animals should be treated.”

Physical Signs of Animal Abuse

· Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
· Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
· Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
· Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
· Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
· Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
· Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
· Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
· Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
· An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
· Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness

Environmental Signs of Animal Abuse
· Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
· Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
· Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
· Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals

Animal abuse does not only relate to cats and dogs, livestock in our area also are included.

“Reporting suspected animal cruelty ensures that animals in jeopardy receive prompt and often lifesaving care,” says BCHS Humane Officer Hawbaker. “By making a complaint to the police or humane society in your area—you can even do so anonymously—you help ensure that animals in need are rescued and that perpetrators of animal cruelty are brought to justice.”

When you read this please take a moment to sit in silence and send your love out to all the animals that died at the hands of someone who abused or neglected them. Vow that you will do whatever you can to make a difference so they didn’t die in vain.

To report Animal Abuse, please call the Bradford County Humane Society’s Humane Officer at 570-888-4763.

For questions on adopting animals or Bradford County Humane Society programs and services please call 570-888-2114.