We as humans need to understand that animals are living beings and they share the same feelings and pain just as we humans do, the only difference is that we can tell what we are undergoing and animals cannot!
Types of abuse
Deepti Nadhan, a college going girl, was gifted a pup on her birthday by her friends. She had never owned a pet in her life. Obviously she was unaware of the Do’s and Don’ts while taking care of the pup. One day, she had to go out and she forgot to keep the pup’s food. Though, this wasn’t an intentional way of abuse but the pup was crying when she returned. She realised her folly and since then she has taken up the responsibility on a more serious note.
Thus, there are mainly two forms of abuse.
- Active abuse: This includes cruelty like hitting an animal, physically abusing him. This is intentional abuse.
- Passive abuse: This form, as the name suggests, is unintentional. In this type, the abuser is unaware that he/she is harming the pet in some way. For example, the owner may leave his/her pet in the car with the windows rolled up or leaving the pet outside the house for longer duration than normal or keeping his/her pet tied, not taking the pet for walks, keeping the pet in a cage, etc.
How to spot one
Animal abuse is a broad term and it is important to have some pointers in place to identify one.
- When you see an animal or a pet, check if he is in good health.
- Check if the animal has been provided with proper shelter.
- Look out if the feces have been cleared and if the animal is living in a livable condition.
- Observe the animal’s behaviour. Notify if you find him too timid or scared.
- Check for any kind of illness.
Owners not taking care of their pets make me wonder why did they ever keep a pet in the first place. There is a 10 months old Lab who barks the place down for hours on end because the poor fellow is tied on a short leash outside the house. Thankfully, during the heat of the day, the lady takes him inside and keeps him in the bathroom! It’s better than leaving him out in the sun! Which is exactly what another family does with their two years old Lab. The poor dog is kept in the sun (on a patch of mud – there is no grass or even a tree to give him shade – with just a bucket of water. He is so exhausted by evening that he doesn’t even have the energy to wag his tail when he sees us going. When the bucket of water overturns or is empty, he starts barking. I feel so sad for the helpless little dog and wonder why these people bother to keep dogs if they think that letting their dogs inside the house is going to dirty their place!
Act when you spot one
Yogesh Potdar was on his usual evening walks in the park when he heard a dog whining. He looked everywhere but couldn’t find the source of the sound. Finally, he managed to spot a drainage outlet from where the sound was coming. He immediately called for the fire rescuers and managed to save the dog’s life who had accidentally fallen inside the open manhole.
This is just one incident of an animal needing help, there can be many others. You are walking down a lane and spot an animal being abused.
The solution is what you can do. Here are some easy steps you need to follow in case you see an animal being abused.
- Help the animal first: If you see an animal being physically abused, try to stop it by persuading the one doing it. If that doesn’t help, call the police. Also, make sure you notify the organisation or a trust that protects animal like PETA and so on. By informing them, you not only support them but also stop abuse indirectly.
- Note down the facts: Make sure you record your observations as it will serve as evidence. The situation, the way, details of the abuser and so on. Be prepared to be a witness and offer your evidence of cruelty to the concerned authority for further action.
- Use the net: Search for sites that support animal protection and notify the world through that site about the abuser and the kind of abuse.
- Spread the word: Spread the word to near and dear ones about the incident so that the abuser is under constant check by the locales and the animal may not be abused again.
- Start a club: You can go a mile ahead and start a club of your own which protects animals. You can then urge people to join the bandwagon and take the necessary steps to stop abuse.
Like Mahatma Gandhi said – “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”