Animal Animosity Julia rothMan

3,155,695.

This is the number of animal cruelty cases each year, which adds up to at least one animal being abused every 10 seconds. Dogs and cats, puppies and kittens are abandoned, neglected, shot, burned, hoarded, beaten, stabbed, tortured, choked, poisoned, and forced to participate in cruel animal fights. How can we treat any animals that way when all they do is provide happiness, company, and comfort? There should be more action against animal cruelty.

To bring more attention to this topic, commissioners in Hillsborough County, Florida, fought to establish an animal abuse registry that would essentially serve two functions: stop crime against animals and help partner Pet Resources and law enforcement officials to spread awareness to citizens and stop offenders from committing further crimes.

The majority of the commission voted to have attorneys convict people of animal abuse and fine them—a step in the right direction.

According to statisticbrain.com, animal cruelty deserves to be as recognized as domestic violence because 71% of victims who have been abused at home have also reported that their abusers targeted pets. Animals also suffer emotional abuse from their owners. For example, dogs and cats both have the ability to detect different tones; and according to Animal Planet, an average dog can understand up to 165 words.

Would you appreciate it if someone called you horrible things and physically hurt you?

No, probably not. So why just ignore the pain that abused animals are going through? Why not take action and enforce stricter rules and punishments relating to animal abuse?

Not only does animal abuse physically and mentally hurt animals, but it can turn them vicious. Upbringing of dogs are very similar to the upbringing of children: the harder the childhood, the poorly educated and mannered kids become when they grow up—usually caused by abandonment or neglect by parents. . . just like dogs could turn out when they're owners don't care for them.

Pitbulls, for example, are victims of breedism (judging a dog based on its breed and not on it's own history, behavior, or personality) because many people are scared of them and usually think they're vicious without giving it a minute to consider their background. The truth of the matter is that 26% of dog abuse is reportedly targeted at pitbulls and historically they were bred to attack, which is why their breed is infamously known for their behavior. It's unfair to think of any animal this way.

Most people will say that abuse is a form of "discipline", yet there is obviously a very fine line between abuse and reprimanding animals. Abuse is the regular and repeated action of cruel behavior towards animals whereas reprimanding them is considered chastisement. People should do all in their power to make sure that no living thing is ever harmed.

Not only are animals abused by owners at home, but a staggering 100,000,000 more animals die each year in laboratory testing. Most of the things these animals are being tested for, like shampoos and medicines, will turn out faulty because these items are meant to be for human. Scientists still use animal DNA for testing which could lead to inconclusive results. There should be an alternative to using animals for experiments. We could, instead, use in vitro testing which will give us more exact information because it uses human DNA.

Picture Credit: https://www.rt.com/viral/340277-india-bans-animal-testing/

How could people be okay with hurting animals for the sake of science when the results inconclusive more than half the time?

In general, animal testing should be widely regarded as a serious issue and the punishment for it should be as strict as the punishment for murder: long term imprisonment.

In order to limit animal cruelty, people must be able to recognize it and stand up for any animal that is being abused; just as one person would stand up for another if they were being bullied. In addition, donating to shelters or just adopting animals from them is more than an enough to save a life. Many organizations such as Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Society of the United States, and ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), take in about 7.6 million animals a year and “work to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide.” With increasing popularity of these shelters, perhaps we could reverse the trend of worsening animal abuse and stand up for our furry companions that would risk their lives for our happiness and health.

The miraculous recovery of an abused horse after treatment, a safe environment, and lots of love. Picture credit: http://www.thelaketoday.com/news/news/story/2011/oct/19/comeback-trail/429081/

As Milan Kundera, a Czech-born French writer said, “humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”

If we stop mistreating our pets, we’ll stop mistreating each other.

Picture Credit: flickr.com

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