BY: Lisa Hudson
There are no real statistics to date on the vast amount of animals being abandoned each year, yet it is evident that it has become an issue of life or death for many of them. Animals released into an environment in which they are not familiar with, will have a lower chance of surviving. Many organizations are doing their best to help decrease animal abandonment. The Humane Society works with millions of volunteers to ensure the best environment suited for abandoned animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also known as the ASPCA, is another organization that serves to decrease animal abuse and enforce arrest towards careless pet owners. Among these organizations, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, is responsible for creating awareness and putting an end to animal cruelty. There are other ways an animal can be a victim of animal cruelty, without actually being harmed. Animal Hoarding, a practice of animal lovers, is ironically another related topic of animal cruelty. In some views, this is an attempt to save the animal, but many other views differ, saying this solution will only cause problems. Even though there are lots of organizations that help prevent animal cruelty and abandonment, there is still more that can be done. Animals should be loved and cherish, instead of ignored and neglected. How can this world wide crisis be solved? When animals are abandoned, they naturally begin to reproduce thousands of offspring, and because of this, baby animals roam and start to reproduce at an alarming rate. It has been estimated that more than 50 million cats and dogs live in happy homes in the US. On the contrary, over 50 million cats and dogs have been reported as neglected and abused. People are no longer willing to adopt animals. The population of animals and decreasing interest of owning pets has led to a huge number of animal overpopulation each year. Animal World Network explains that “For every human born, 7 puppies and kittens are born...One female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years...One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years.” One half of abandoned animals are taken into shelters and the other half are in the streets. About 61% of dogs and 75% of cats are bought to shelters and are killed because people do not adopt these animals in time. Due to the lack of education, shelter, financial and other resources, cats and dogs are first on the list to be housed in a shelter of the shortest amount of time and first on the list of animals to kill. The Humane Society is a worldwide organization supported by 11 million Americans which was founded in 1954. It is one of the best protection agencies for animals all over the world, raising over a million of dollars in order to create awareness to citizens. The mission of the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS is to celebrate all breeds of animals and also to confront cruelty. HSUS states that they are “America’s mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect”. They confront these issues and provide animals with rescue facilities and clinics for them to get washed, fed and neutered. They are involved in and responsible for organizing meetings, marches, and forums in order to educate society about animal rescue and animal investigations. HSUS holds advertising campaigns to promote adoption for animals so that the nation knows what’s going on and how they can help. HSUS partner with other associations to strength the message of their organization and create stronger ties with organization with similar missions. One program known as, “Humane Wildlife Services”, in the D.C metro area help homeowners and businesses with stopping violence towards animals. The Humane Wildlife Services help maintain valid solutions for problems concerning violent neighbors. HSUS strives to stop cruelty targeting “practices of dog fighting and cock fighting; abusive puppy mills…farming in… confinements of animal in crates and cages…” HSUS does its best to protect all animals and they will continue this mission in confronting animal cruelty on a whole. Another organization that also helps stop animal cruelty is The American Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals known worldwide as the ASPCA. The ASPCA was established in North America in 1866 and still today they are here doing the best that they can offer. The This organization believes that animals should be treated fairly and has healthy environments. The ASPCA are the pioneers of all animal humane organizations, they continue to maintain legal authority to take charge in investigations and arrest criminals that treat animals poorly. The ASPCA claims that it is their mission to “provide local and national leadership…caring for pet parents and pets, providing positive outcomes for at – risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty”. In other words, “animal cruelty is...a serious issue…in law enforcement and mental”. It is very important that people become involved and work to supply quick responses to these acts of criminal behavior. There is an organization like the Humane Society and ASPCA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA) is also involved in solving issues on animal cruelty. There was a lady named, “Ingrid E. Newkirk, an author and co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who put together essays by people who took the initiative and helped create change. She started PETA in 1980 in her Washington, D.C., basement to offer people simple vegetarian options and alternatives to products from companies that used animals in research. The nonprofit has grown to 2.5 million supporters — the largest animal-rights organization in the world — and has created a global shift in awareness about the plight of animals”. PETA’s focus is primarily on animals suffering on farms, clothing trade areas, laboratories, and in industries around the world. To create aware of their cause, PETA works through education. Meetings are held around the world to raise awareness to many people. They visit schools to educate children and adults about their organization. They also work with “cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, and celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns”. PETA exclaims that animals have a ‘voice’ too and all they want is some love to be given towards them. PETA strives to encourage people to take action because it is up to us to make a change. A dichotomous act animal lovers experience is that of animal hoarding. How can animals be negatively affected by people that love to be care for needy animals? This issue has been known to affect as many as 250,000 U.S animals annually. An extreme case reported there over 800 pets living in one home. When there is see an elderly woman lady, for example, living with 15-20 pets, a problem arises because it is harmful toward those animals, being bunched up together. There are many reasons why animal hoarding is practiced by many people. One of the reasons is that a person experienced a traumatic situation, which induced stress, bad living conditions, and tough health problems. A person is then in denial of their own problems and they in turn look to have large amount of animals to conceal their own grief in their lives. Many animals are affected; not just cats or dogs. Animals such as chickens, snakes, ferrets, birds, goats, rabbits, lizards and many more are affected by animal hoarding. Animal Legal Fund, an organization fighting to protect the lives of animals says that, “In terms of the number of animals affected and the degree and duration of their suffering, hoarding is the number one animal cruelty crisis facing companion animals in communities throughout the country.” These animals are living bunched up together with no proper equipment to sustain a healthy environment, the start to suffer from unsanitary conditions. In effect, these animals “are sick, dying and poorly socialized”. ALDF listed ways to decrease the amount of animal hoarding in the world. The first strategy is the use of civil action in stopping animal hoarders and documents these cases as acts of cruelty towards animals. The second strategy is to stop animal hoarding by taxing the hoarder that is doing the crimes, instead of the local taxpayer. When animals are rescued from homes, bundles of them are confiscated and this makes it hard for local agencies and organizations to feed and comfort these animals, because there is not enough money. A majority of the time, money is taxed to the average working person when they had nothing to do with it. ALDF suggested that the money should come from the hoarders instead of hard working citizens.. The final strategy, which falls in line with the first strategy, would be that laws are applied very seriously to situations like this. There will be sentencing given towards animal hoarders that try to repeat criminal acts. ALDF is working hard to stop animal cruelty in society. First time offenders of animal hoarding will be prosecuted according to ALDF First Strike and You’re Out Law. In this essay, many sources were stated to inform readers about animal abandonment and cruelty. Many organizations and facilities are doing everything possible to decrease violence towards animals around the world. Has the world made an improvement? Can society clap for them because of a job “well done” ? NO! I choose this topic because this is a worldwide issue and it should be discussed more to make change in the future. Animals throughout the world will continue to experience these situations for a long time, but it is so much that people can do. Animals will still be neglected, mistreated and devalued as living, breathing creatures. This worldwide issue needs to stop and it is up to the people to take a stand. Communities have to be willing to give animals ‘voices’ and help them survive. We may have thousands of organizations around the world trying very hard to stop animal cruelty but people need to take initiative in their surroundings; people must realize the criminal act and severity of animal abandonment and its reproductions. Slowly many organizations along with individual communities are creating awareness around animal cruelty, however, somewhere in each community there is a lonely animal roaming the streets. Someone should report this to help the animal. There is a long way to go, but I feel optimistic that things will improve with the help of compassionate people, unified communities and movements within strong organizations.
Newkirk, Ingrid. “All About PETA” Uncompromising Stands on Animal Rights. (24 April 2011). Swan, Ben. “PETA co-founder” Change starts with one person. < http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/book-signing-PETA-co-founder--Change-starts-with-one-person> (6 December 2008). Wikipedia contributors. "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. HSUS
“About Us”. Overview . < http://www.humanesociety.org/about/overview/> (30 September 2009). Parkes, Patrick, and Jacques Sichel, How and Why The HSUS Was Founded, Washington, D.C.: The Humane Society of the United States, 1979.ASPCA Humane Society of the United States, Animals in a Research Laboratory, Baltimore: French-Bray Printing, 1961. ASPCA
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). “We Are Their Voices” About the ASPCA (14 May 2008). The Connection Between Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty. “We Are Their Voices” About the ASPCA (14 May 2008). Animal Network
Abandoned Pet Facts. “Animal Network” About the ASPCA (24 April 2011). Abandoned Pet Facts. “Animal Network” About the ASPCA (24 April 2011). Abandoned Pet Facts. “Animal Network” About the ASPCA (24 April 2011). Buzzle.com
Buzzle.com. “Intelligent Life On The Web” Abandoned Animals Face Lingering Death (24 April 2011). ALDF
Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Case and Campaigns” Winning The Case Against Cruelty (24 April 2011). Animal Hoarding
Animal Planet. “Confessions” Animal Hoarding (24 April 2011).