Step 4: Help Prevent Animal Abuse

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The key to preventing neglect is education. Many owners just aren't aware of how important affection is to a pet or even that a puppy can outgrow her collar.

The key to preventing abuse is stronger anti-cruelty laws -- laws that empower effective enforcement and include harsh penalties. Serious penalties can inhibit cruelty and, with the addition of counseling as a penalty, can stop the incidents from being repeated by offenders.

You can help prevent these cruel acts by informing others about what to do if they see such an act or by helping them to better understand how to train and care for their pets.

To do this you can:

  • Schedule a speaker from your local humane agency to talk at your church or any clubs you belong to. Do the same for any children's groups, like scout groups, day-care centers, and schools.
  • Set up a brown-bag lecture series at your office, conducted by a humane agency, on pet care, basic behavior solutions, and animal welfare issues.
  • Get pet care and behavior pamphlets from your humane agency to distribute to any of your coworkers or friends with new pets.
  • Put together packets of treats and a pet-care book or video to give to friends who've just gotten a new pet. Include spay/neuter information, tags, and a vaccination record book. Obedience lessons make a great gift for a new puppy.
  • Support any initiatives to strengthen your state's anti-cruelty laws.
  • Write to your paper and TV station whenever animal cruelty stories appear. Tell them you support strong penalties for these abusers.
  • Contribute to or volunteer at your local shelter, where they must deal with these appalling situations regularly.

Now when you see a neglected or abused animal, you can take action. Don't hesitate. Your call could save a life

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