Ten seconds, that is all it takes. Ten seconds is approximately how long it takes for us to brush our hair, tie our shoelaces, and send a text: very simple and ordinary actions. During that same time frame, an animal is abused somewhere in America. To put the numbers in perspective, there are 86,400 seconds in a day, meaning that 8,640 animals are abused each day. In a month, approximately 262,800 are abused, and in a year, 3,153,600. These are extremely alarming numbers.
Animals are abused in various ways. Neglect is the most common, then there is hoarding, mutilating, fighting, beating, and in some situations, killing. A lot of people are aware of this common issue, but do they really understand the severity of it? Animals do not have a voice, and to many, they are only considered property, which allows for a greater chance of abuse. This is not the case when it comes to people.
If we hear about a child being mistreated, our reaction is to find the person responsible and make them pay for their actions. For animals, a more common response is, “Oh no, how unfortunate.” While there are many organizations that work to help solve this issue and protect animals, not enough people take an active role in them because they are not informed.
The lack of informed individuals unfortunately makes cases like Buddy’s more common. Buddy, a cat, was befriended by Jamie Blake, a nineteen year old with psychiatric problems. Jamie claimed that the cat started talking to him about his mother’s dead ex-lover, and this caused him to put Buddy in a microwave oven, killing him. A similar situation occurred with Laura Cunliffe and her kitten, Mowgli. Mowgli was struggling for approximately 90 minutes in a microwave oven until she died. These are just two examples of times humans got away with committing crimes against animals and the crimes show how severe the abuse was. Even though some people argue that these are extreme cases, this does not take away from the fact that informing people would reduce the chances of a mentally unstable person having possession of an animal in the first place.
When people decide to become informed and involved in fixing this large issue, there are many more positive outcomes, unlike Buddy and Mowgli’s stories. A pitbull named Cricket suffered from scraped fur, a swollen snout, and lost one of her claws. Her abuser, Parker, was sentenced to 93 days in jail. Unlike the other animals’ stories, Cricket’s did not end in death. Cricket was adopted by a police officer and now can separate herself from her troubled past.
We should be striving for positive outcomes, just like we do with other serious issues in the world. By the time you finish reading this, approximately eighteen animals have been abused, 60% of them being dogs. Can you simply push this knowledge aside or can use it as motivation to get more involved? How do you get more involved? You can start by spreading awareness. Instead of posting unnecessary pictures on Instagram, you can post influential pictures with encouraging captions. Joining organizations is another great step towards change. A few organizations to consider are PETA, ASPCA, the American Humane Association, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. These organizations not only inform you, but allow you to take an active role, including adopting an animal. Adopting an abused animal to give it better life and a safer home is one of the most rewarding efforts you can take. You can visit a local shelter, a humane society, or even online to find an animal in need.
At the end of the day, it is obvious something has to be done and that it has to happen soon before the phrase “a man's best friend” becomes a little too ironic. After all, we are not supposed to hurt our friends.
The unbreakable bond between man and animal