Animal Cruelty Month
To increase awareness of animal cruelty and to provide education to help the public recognize and prevent this serious problem, the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has designated April as Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month.
During this month, as well as throughout the year, the staff at the Lawrence Humane Society is eager to speak to groups, especially school and youth groups, about the seriousness of animal cruelty, how to recognize it, and what we can all do to help prevent it. Please e-mail or call the Lawrence Humane Society 785-843-6835 for information or to schedule a program about animal cruelty prevention.
Meanwhile, what can you do?
- Teach children and encourage adults to be kind to all living creatures
- Support organizations that work to end animal cruelty
- And most important: report animal neglect or cruelty to the Humane Society. To learn more about recognizing and reporting animal abuse, see our Cruelty & Neglect Investigations page.
Cruelty and Neglect Facts:
- The Lawrence Humane Society investigates about 500 cases of animal cruelty each year.
- Often the problems can be remedied by educating the animals’ owners, who don’t understand how serious and harmful animal neglect is.
- Intentional abuse against animals, such as starving, beating, and killing, does occur in our community.
- A strong link exists between cruelty to animals and human violence. Statistics show that most serial killers have histories of practicing animal abuse prior to killing people. Almost all of those committing school shootings had histories of animal violence. Of the felony offenders incarcerated for murder, attempted murder, or other aggressive crimes against people, almost 71 percent previously had committed acts of animal abuse. Studies also show that 88 percent of those who have been victims of child abuse will commit violence against animals.
The following information is provided by the ASPCA.
According to the ASPCA, animal abusers fall into three groups:
Within the first group are people who abuse animals but don’t do so intentionally. For example, they don’t realize what kinds of shelter animals need, or they have so many pets they can’t care for them all. Since most of the people who abuse animals constitute this group, most animal abusers can be helped with basic education.
Animal abusers in the second group are those who do so intentionally but don’t continue for a long period of time. Often these are young people; they hurt animals because they aren’t thinking or because they can’t stand up to peer pressure. Some may think it’s fun to frighten or torment a pet. Although hurting animals for any reason is serious, this group usually doesn’t continue the abuse. With help and education they learn to think about animals’ feelings, and they learn to stand up to peer pressure.
The third group that hurts animals is the worst, but it is the least common. These are people who intentionally hurt animals because they enjoy hurting things, or because it makes them feel powerful. Many of these offenders would hurt people if they could, but they choose animals because animals are more helpless. Why do they do this? Some want control over others. Hurting an animal gives them a false sense of control. Or they may hurt the animal to control another person. Still others in this third group abuse or kill animals because they suffer from serious psychological problems. Without professional help these psychological problems can continue throughout a lifetime and escalate into abusing and killing people.
People falling into any of these groups must be stopped. Only by us recognizing animal cruelty and reporting it to law enforcement or to the local animal shelter can we begin to put an end to the suffering. Please go to www.aspca.org to learn more about this organization and its work to end animal abuse.