These articles will explain what you need to know about the different types of cruelty. They will also help you identify the signs of an abused animal.
Below are some commonly used words within animal welfare that you may come across while browsing the site.
Animal cruelty: Animal cruelty generally falls into one of three categories: neglect, intentional cruelty or sexual abuse. Examples include starvation, dehydration, confinement without adequate light or ventilation, failure to seek veterinary care when an animal is in need of medical attention, inadequate shelter, dog fighting, illegal slaughterhouses and puppy mills.
Animal hoarding: Animal hoarding or collecting is an obsessive/compulsive disorder in which an individual amasses a large number of animals (sometimes more than a 100); fails to provide for the animals' most basic physical and social needs, including food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and sanitary living conditions; and is usually in extreme denial about the abysmal living conditions of their animals, and dwelling. Often this neglect results in the animals' starvation, illness and death. Hoarding, technically, can be considered a crime, as it is a form of neglect.
Backyard breeder: An owner whose pet may have an unplanned litter by accident, or who breeds on purpose. Common reasons cited include: making extra money, mistakenly believing every dog should have a litter, letting the children witness "the miracle of birth," or because they think their dog would make cute puppies. The animals involved are generally not tested for health or genetic problems, and typically there is no thought to where the puppies will go. They are the single greatest cause of pet overpopulation. Many are sold locally through newspaper ads.
Cock fighting: An illegal blood sport in which two roosters, trained to severely injure and/or kill one another, are placed beak to beak in a small ring and encouraged to fight to the death. Usually wagers are made on the outcome of the match with the surviving bird being declared the winner.
Dog fighting: An illegal blood sport that pits dogs against one another for spectator entertainment, and often betting. The sport was popular in England in the 1700s, and many modern breeds were developed from these fighting dogs' lines. Fighting dogs are trained, and genetically predisposed, to fight to the death, rather than to display normal submissive signals that would allow two dogs to resolve a disagreement quickly and safely.
Ear cropping: The cropping of a purebred dog's ears to conform to a breed standard. While ear cropping surgery is usually performed by veterinarians, it is frequently done by untrained individuals in unsterilized environments and without anesthesia. Today a number of countries consider cropping to be cruel and ban it entirely.
Feral cats: The offspring of strays or abandoned domestic cats who have reverted to a wild state; the offspring of feral cats who have lived in a wild state for some generations; or domestic cats that have been abandoned or run off and gone wild. Feral cats live in family groups called colonies.
Illegal slaughterhouses: Illegal, unlicensed slaughterhouses kill animals without any care or concern as to the method used. A screwdriver, dull knives and axes are just some of the inhumane tools of the illegal slaughter business. Additionally, these underground facilities don't employ sanitation programs, thereby placing anyone eating this meat at risk of serious food poisoning. In Ontario, if you are killing an animal for consumption other than for you and your immediate family, it must be done at a licensed abattoir, in a humane fashion, and inspected by a government inspector.
Intentional cruelty: Cruelty involving physical harm or injury inflicted on an animal. In cases where animals survive, veterinarians often recommend euthanasia due to the extent of the animal's injuries or the extreme suffering involved. Animal abuse is often a precursor to human-directed violence and an indicator of family crisis.
Leghold trap: The steel-jaw leghold trap is most often used to trap wild animals who are killed for their fur, such as bobcat, lynx, wolf, coyote, fox, beaver, muskrat, mink and otter. Trapped animals usually do not die instantly, and are left to suffer intense pain, exposure to severe weather, predatation by other animals, psychological trauma, dehydration and starvation. Leghold traps are indiscriminate - capturing any animals that trigger them including threatened and endangered species, raptors (such as eagles and hawks), and domestic dogs and cats.
Neglect: Neglect is the failure to provide adequate water, food, shelter or necessary care. Examples of neglect include: starvation; dehydration; inadequate shelter; parasite infestations; failure to seek veterinary care when an animal is in need of medical attention; allowing a collar to grow into an animal's skin; confinement without adequate light, ventilation, space or in unsanitary conditions; and failure to trim hooves or nails resulting in excessive growth (e.g. hooves curling upwards). In some cases neglect is simply a result of the owner's ignorance, and can be rectified by law enforcement authorities, like the Ontario SPCA, educating the owner and issuing orders to improve the animal's living conditions. In more severe cases, circumstances may require the Ontario SPCA, or other law enforcement authorities, removing the animals immediately to provide urgent medical care.
Animal Welfare Act: Click here
Ontario SPCA Branch: The Ontario SPCA's Branches are located across the province and are directly administered by the Provincial Office in Newmarket.
Ontario SPCA Affiliate or Affiliated Humane Society: In order to gain animal cruelty investigative powers in their local communities, Humane Societies are affiliated with the Ontario SPCA and empowered by provincial legislation. While affiliates operate independently from the Ontario SPCA and are administered at the local level by their own individual Board of Directors, all affiliated Humane Society investigators are trained, licensed and overseen by the Ontario SPCA Chief Inspector. They participate in any number of activities and initiatives common to the entire network of Branches and Affiliates - and are given access to certain services and benefits by belonging to the larger group.
Puppy mill: The National Companion Animal Coalition defines puppy mills as a high-volume, sub-standard dog breeding operation, which sells purebred or mixed-breed dogs, to unsuspecting buyers. Characteristics common to puppy mills include: sub-standard health and/or environment issues; sub-standard animal care, treatment and/or socialization; sub-standard breeding practices which lead to genetic defects or hereditary disorders; and erroneous or falsified certificates of registration, pedigree, and/or genetic background. Note: These conditions may also exist in small volume or single-breed establishments.
Stray: A currently or recently owned dog or cat who may be lost. The animal is usually well socialized but may become wary over time. A stray's kittens or pups may be feral.
Unrelieved Pain in Laboratory Experimentation on Animals; The 20 Worst Facilities in the U.S.
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN
One of the main purposes of the Animal Welfare Act is to “to insure that animals intended for use in research facilities or for exhibition purposes or for use as pets are provided humane care and treatment.” The prevention of pain through the use of adequate anesthesia is clearly a commonly accepted part of the concept of “humane treatment.” In fact, the Animal Welfare Act goes on to state that it is necessary for “animal care, treatment, and practices in experimental procedures to ensure that animal pain and distress are minimized, including adequate veterinary care with the appropriate use of anesthetic, analgesic, tranquilizing drugs, or euthanasia.” It was clearly the intent of the framers of this law that pain relief is a necessary part of the use of animals in experimentation.
|20 Most Painful Animal Labs|
|Pig||/Pig||Farm||Pain #||Used||Pain %||#||%||Points|
|Aberdeen Proving Ground (MD)||6,547||93||6,640||7,929||83.7||19||20||39|
|Utah State University (UT)||28||4,572||4,600||5,874||78.3||16||19||35|
|Emergent Biodefense (MI)||7,187||7,187||13,192||54.5||20||13||33|
|Diamond Animal Health (IA)||3,198||3,198||4,686||68.2||15||16||31|
|Colorado Serum Company (CO)||1,238||388||1,626||2,807||57.9||9||15||24|
|University of Utah (UT)||1,504||1,504||2,675||56.2||8||14||22|
|Lee Laboratories (GA)||1,792||1,792||3,402||52.7||10||10||20|
|Meriel Limited (GA)||4||14||2,258||2,276||6,525||34.9||13||6||19|
|Parkinson's Institute (CA)||56||56||74||75.7||18||18|
|Fort Dodge (IA)||98||85||6,078||6,261||28,883||21.7||18||18|
|U of North TX Hlth Sci (TX)||394||394||560||70.4||17||17|
|Batelle Memorial Institute (OH)||4||1,369||102||295||424||74||2,268||7,514||30.2||12||2||14|
|U of Texas, Galveston (TX)||323||173||112||608||1,134||53.6||1||12||13|
|Elan Pharmaceuticals (CA)||695||695||1,312||53.0||2||11||13|
|Army Inst Inf Dis (MD)||621||321||200||191||1,333||3,568||37.4||6||7||13|
|Boehringer Ingelheim Anml Hlth (MO)||2,235||2,235||11,640||19.2||11||11|
|Novartis (Genomics) (CA)||384||384||990||38.8||8||8|
|20 lab Totals||297||154||20,659||28,052||2,524||773||0||75||143||52,677||157,262|
These 20 labs average 2,633 animals per lab experiencing painful experimentation without pain relief of any kind. To read lots more: http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/articles-20110208-unrelievedpain.html#Appendix_1
Testing: Animals are routinely cut open, poisoned, and forced to live in barren steel cages for years, although studies show that because of vast physiological variations between species, human reactions to illnesses and drugs are completely different from those of other animals. The main animal tests carried out for toiletries and cosmetics include tests for substance irritants, skin sensitivity, photo sensitivity, and toxicity tests. The effects on animals can range from mildly unpleasant to extremely unpleasant, depending on the substance tested and the type of test done.
What is Class B Animal Abuse? Animals used by laboratories for testing purposes are largely supplied by dealers who specialize in the trade. These include breeders who supply purpose-bred animals; businesses that trade in wild animals; and dealers who supply animals sourced from pounds, auctions, and newspaper ads. Animal shelters may also supply the laboratories directly. Some animal dealers are reported to engage in kidnapping pets from residences or illegally trapping strays, a practice dubbed as "bunching". The customers of animal dealers are universities, medical and veterinary schools, and companies that provide contract animal-testing services. Here is a link to all business that hold a Class B license: See link below: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/downloads/reports/B_cert_holders.txt
Zoophilia is a paraphilia involving a sexual fixation on non-human animals. Bestiality is cross-species sexual activity between human and non-human animals. The terms are often used interchangeably, but some researchers make a distinction between the attraction (zoophilia) and the act (bestiality).
Hundreds of Horses Electro-Shocked in Racing Industry
I want to tell you about a magnificent horse named Nehro.
He came in second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but what race enthusiasts
and reporters never knew was that just a few years later, Nehro was running on chronically painful hooves with holes in them. One of the hooves was, at one point, held together with superglue.
As reported in The New York Times, PETA's investigator went undercover and worked behind the scenes in the racing industry for leading thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen, who has won more races in the last decade than any other U.S. trainer, at two of the most famous racetracks in America: Churchill Downs in Louisville (home of the Kentucky Derby) and the Saratoga Race Course in New York.
Just two years after that second-place Derby finish, Nehro developed colic, went mad from pain, and was euthanized at Churchill Downs on the day of the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
But Nehro was just one of many horses who have suffered and died at the hands of the racing industry. An average of 24 horses suffer fatal breakdowns at tracks across the country every week, and 10,000 broken-down thoroughbreds are sent to slaughter every year.
More from this website:
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You can Read even more: http://www.peta.org/#ixzz2xNncuDXL
Isolation on the Range: New Study Shows Isolated Cows are Slower Learners
The physical blows of cows used in big business often overshadow the mentally, socially and emotionally rich lives of cows.
A new study explains that isolating a calf from its mother can make the animal a slower learner and unable to adapt to new environments.
Holy Cow! Cows Are Awesome
Here a few cool cow facts that you might not know about cows. PETA’s The Hidden Lives of Cows explains how every cow has a distinct personality. They have friendships — get your tissue ready when you see the reunion of two blind cows, Tricia and Sweety, at a farm sanctuary.
Yet their good memories also mean that they can hold a grudge, and some even have enemies. Cows mourn death and separation; mother-baby separations are particularly difficult. They understand cause-and-effect, and they fancy a good mental challenge. Perhaps it should be “a wolf in cow’s clothing” because cows have similar social structures and dynamics to a wolf pack.
Isolated Cows Are Slower Cows
As reported in Discovery News, on most dairy farms, baby cows are immediately separated from their mothers in order to prevent the calf from getting sick (although, you have to wonder what horrible conditions the mother’s in if her baby runs the risk of getting sicker being with her?). After two months, most calves will be reintegrated in the herd.
Yet, new research suggests that this immediate separation showed that “isolated calves were much slower to learn new things and had a harder time adapting to changes in their environment.”
You would think that a slower cow probably sounds like cow bells to factory farmers’ ears because a slower cow is an even easier to exploit cow. Not exactly.
Slow Cows Slow Down Operations
A slow cow tends to slow down operations on the farm. As iScience Times explains, when a red bin was placed in their pens, scientists observed the reactions of two groups — social cows and isolated cows. While both types of cows were interested in the red object, the novelty factor would eventually fade for more socialized cows. Yet, isolated cows were constantly stimulated by the object. One of the study’s researchers explained, “‘This could make it more difficult for a farm animal to be trained or to do something as simple as walk down a path and not be overwhelmed by a bright light or a new noise.’”
The researchers concluded that keeping cows in smaller groups would be more beneficial than isolation. A group of two or three cows is socially stimulating, and the threat of disease spreading is significantly reduced.
Sadly, farm animals, like cows, seldom get to express their awesomeness. The whole system is designed to strip them of their individuality and their spirit — they are nothing more than their body parts.
Try telling cows that, though; give a cow a chance and it will escape, even if it has to jump in an icy pool to reach freedom.When a livestock farmer admits that killing animals for their meat is wrong, then we need to listen up. The real reason that cows are getting slower is because around 95 percent of Americans accept that it’s okay to eat and drink them.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/isolation-on-the-range-new-study-shows-isolated-cows-are-slower-learners.html#ixzz2wiLXg2Bz
Puppy Mill Glossary
AKC-Registered: Registry with the American Kennel Club indicates that a puppy had two parents of the same breed. AKC registration does not guarantee a puppy will be in good health. Almost all puppies born in puppy mills are AKC-registered.
Animal Welfare Act: The Animal Welfare Act is a federal law that governs the humane care, handling, treatment and transportation of commercially bred dogs. It also governs the licensing of certain commercial breeders. Enforcement of the Act is the responsibility of a division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) known as APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)—but kennels are not inspected consistently. Puppy mill operators are usually allowed to remain in business while they remedy any violations.
Backyard Breeder: A dog owner whose pet gets bred by accident, or one who breeds intentionally for a variety of reasons. These might include a desire to make extra money, or to allow children to witness “the miracle of birth.” The animals involved are usually not screened for genetic or health problems.
Breeding Female: A female dog who produces puppies in a commercial kennel. These dogs rarely have the chance to leave the puppy mill—they are killed, abandoned or sold to Class B dealers when they are no longer considered useful.
Breed: A group of related animals who are genotypically and phenotypically similar and produce physically similar offspring when mated.
Breeding Stock: Dogs who are continually bred at commercial kennels. They generally live their entire lives in cages and receive little or no veterinary care. When their fertility diminishes, they are killed, abandoned or sold to Class B dealers.
Breed Standard: A set of guidelines that includes the ideal appearance of a particular breed.
Broker: Puppy brokers, also known as Class B dealers or puppy mill representatives, act as middlemen between breeders and purchasers. They buy puppies “in bulk” directly from puppy mills and sell them to retail outlets or research facilities, often shipping the dogs across state lines. Brokers must be licensed by the USDA and must abide by the shipping regulations outlined in the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Buncher: A person who takes puppy mill rejects—dogs not up to breed standards—and/or dogs advertised as “free to a good home” and sells them to Class B dealers, who will in turn sell them to industrial research laboratories.
Class A Dealers: Those licensed by the USDA to operate commercial kennels, or puppy mills, that produce dogs for “bulk” sale.
Commercial Kennel: While there is debate about whether dogs can be humanely bred in a commercial environment, commercial kennels are typically considered puppy mills. See Puppy Mill.
Consignment Auction: An auction by a puppy mill of the dogs it no longer wants—the typical buyers at these auctions are Class B dealers, bunchers and other puppy mills.
Culling: The killing of puppy mill puppies who, for various reasons, are considered unacceptable (twisted leg, coat or eye color not up to breed standard, misshaped ears, etc.).
Debarking: A controversial procedure in which a dog’s vocal cords are severed so that he is unable to bark. In puppy mills, this procedure is often performed by smashing a puppy’s vocal cords with a pipe.
Designer Dog: The intentional mating of two different purebred dogs to create a hybrid. Unlike many mixed-breed dogs, a designer dog has documented purebred ancestry. Designer dogs—such as the puggle and labradoodle—are increasing in popularity, and some puppy mills have started to mass produce them.
Dispersal Auction: An auction that occurs as a result of a puppy mill’s closure. A dispersal auction may include equipment and tools as well as dogs. The typical buyers at these auctions are Class B dealers, bunchers and other puppy mills.
Lemon Laws: Seventeen states have enacted “lemon laws” to protect consumers who have bought unhealthy puppies. The laws allow for purchasers to return a sick or dead puppy for a refund or replacement. Many state laws also offer the option of reimbursement of veterinary bills.
Puppy Mill: A commercial dog breeding operation where profit is given higher priority than the well-being of the dogs. Dogs are housed in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization. The breeding stocks at puppy mills are bred as often as possible in order to increase profits. The animals bred in mills are typically sold via the Internet and to pet shops.
Tail Docking: The cutting of a dog's tail to conform to an aesthetic or breed standard. This cosmetic surgery is often done by untrained individuals, without anesthesia, in unsterile environments.
What does "No Kill" mean?
Animal welfare workers and volunteers started the “No Kill” movement more than 20 years ago in San Francisco. The goal was to curtail euthanizing dogs and cats that entered animal shelters. It caught on, and thanks to the campaign, euthanasia has dropped from 20 million annually to between 3 and 4 million a year.
While many tout the success of saving the lives of dogs and cats thanks to the “No Kill” movement, a large number of people still don’t know what “No Kill” means. According to an NPR report, “While some shelters indeed put no animals down, shelters are allowed to euthanize a percentage of their animals and still keep the no-kill designation.” With 14,000 animal shelters and rescue groups in the United States, not everyone is in favor of saving all shelter cats and dogs. Of the estimated 8 million dogs who enter U.S. shelters each year, not all are adoptable. Animal shelters can euthanize up to 10 percent of their animals for poor health and temperament, and still be considered “No Kill.”
Richard Avanzino, president of Maddie’s Fund and the former head of San Francisco’s SPCA, which started the “No Kill” movement in 1994, tells NPR, “The ‘No Kill’ concept will be a constantly debated question among a lot of animal lovers, as to whether we are there or whether we are still working on getting to the goal.” The campaign is familiar to those in animal rights in the northern states and on the West Coast. In Miami, more than 15,000 dogs and 13,000 cats enter the county-run animal shelter each year. The county just adopted a resolution to become a No Kill facility. Alex Munoz, director of the Miami Animal Services Department, tells NPR they’re making progress. “Over the past few years we've increased our overall save rate from less than 50 percent to over 80 percent for both dogs and cats,” he says.
If you do the numbers that means a large number of cats and dogs will still be put down. Munoz counters that “the shelter is not an infinite space. There are 222 cages, and on any given day, there's more than 300 dogs.” Munoz, and others at shelters across the country, are stepping up their spay and neuter programs and hosting more adoption events.
One of the major animal welfare groups in the country that has embraced and led the way in the “No Kill” movement is Best Friends Animal Society with its “Save Them All Campaign.” They are partnering with numerous rescue groups and shelters to end the killing of dogs and cats in U.S. animal shelters. Sources: NPR, Best Friends Animal Society
What Kinds of Crimes Exist?
- Hoarding: Not Just Little Old Ladies
- All Alone: Neglect and Abandonment
- Fighting for Their Lives
What are Crush Videos?
-- also known as squish or trampling videos -- cater to fetishists who
gain sexual gratification from watching women torture and kill small
animals by stepping on them. As unbelievable as this may seem,
and despite federal legislation prohibiting this type of animal cruelty,
crush videos have gained a market among emotionally disturbed in the
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a fetish?
In simple terms, a fetish is a non-sexual object that is viewed by someone as the focus of sexual desire. A common example of this is the foot fetish, where the fetishist is sexually aroused by feet or certain aspects of feet, such as high heels, foot licking, or even foot odor.
What is a crush fetish? Crush fetishists most often take the form of a specialized foot fetish. Generally speaking, crush fetishists get sexually aroused by the thought of being trampled, crushed, or smothered under the feet of another. The fascination may involve elements of bondage or sadomasochism. In addition to being trampled themselves, crush fetishists will also use objects: for example, the fetishist may delight in watching a woman step on a tube of toothpaste in high heels while envisioning himself under the heels. Food crushing is another common variation. This allows the fetishist to experience the vicarious thrill of being trampled over and over. ------
How many people are involved in crush videos?
Estimates vary, but it is believed that less than 2,000 people worldwide are participants or viewers of crush videos. Sadly, the practice has spready to the UK, which is now dealing with its own outbreak of crush videos (or "squish videos", as they are more commonly known there).
With the explosive growth of peer-to-peer file sharing networks, the availability and production of crush videos is likely to spread if not aggressively opposed.
Practice of Soring on horses.
The AVMA endorses the American Association of Equine Practitioners' position on the practice of soring, which reads as follows:
"The AAEP condemns the practice of 'soring,' as legally defined in the Horse Protection Act of 1970 (HPA), to accentuate a horse's gait for training or show purposes. The AAEP supports the efforts of APHIS in the application and enforcement of the HPA as outlined in the APHIS Horse Protection Operating Plan and strongly recommends imposing sufficient sanctions to prevent these practices. As legally defined in the HPA, 'soring' refers to:
- An irritating or blistering agent has been applied, internally or externally, by a person to any limb of a horse;
- Any burn, cut, or laceration has been inflicted by a person on any limb of a horse;
- Any tack, nail, screw, or chemical agent has been injected by a person or used by a person on any limb of a horse; or
- Any other substance or device has been used by a person on any limb of a horse or a person has engaged in a practice involving a horse, and, as a result of such application, infliction, injection, use, or practice, such a horse suffers, or can reasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving, except that such term does not include such an application, infliction, injection, use, or practice in connection with the therapeutic treatment of a horse by or under the supervision of a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the State in which such a treatment was given."
About Stop Wildlife Penning
As a family, we dealt with this issue in our backyard in Holt, Florida. We followed the necessary steps of contacting the Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) to help, but found out wildlife penning was legal in the state of Florida as well as many other states. Wildlife penning involves the capture of foxes and coyotes who are then shipped across state lines and placed into 100-acre penned areas. Then, dozens of hunting dogs are released into the pen and scored on how fast they catch the prey. We have witnessed firsthand the pack mentality the dogs create when attacking a helpless animal.
With the help of numerous supporters, we have successfully shut down fox penning permanently in Florida! Now it's time to focus our attention on the other states that allow this practice to continue. Please read more at TrainingNotTorture.org.
2. Wildlife Penning should not be considered hunting.
3. This cause is neither anti-hunting nor anti-gun.
4. We must arise to the occasion and stop this once and for all!
Laboratory animal sources
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Class A dealers
Class B dealers
Class B dealers are licensed by the USDA to buy animals from "random sources." This refers to animals who were not purpose-bred or raised on the dealers' property. Animals from "random sources" come from auctions, pound seizure, newspaper ads, and a small number may be stolen pets or illegally trapped strays.
Animals are also sold directly to laboratories by shelters. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah require publicly funded shelters to surrender animals to any Class B dealer who asks for them. Fourteen states prohibit the practice,and the remainder either have no relevant legislation, or permit the practice in certain circumstances.
According to a paper presented to the American Society of Criminology in 2006, an illegal economy in the theft of pets, mostly dogs, has emerged in the U.S. in recent years, with the thieves known as "bunchers." The bunchers sell the animals to Class B animal dealers, who pay $25 per animal. The dealers then sell the animals to universities, medical and veterinary schools, and companies providing animal-testing services.
There are many different reasons why individuals abuse animals.
Animal cruelty covers a wide range of actions (or lack of action), so one blanket answer simply isn't possible. Each type of abuse has displayed certain patterns of behavior that we can use to help understand more about why people commit the crimes we encounter today. Animal cruelty is often broken down into two main categories: active and passive, also referred to as comission and omission, respectively.
Passive Cruelty (Acts of Omission)
Passive cruelty is typified by cases of neglect, where the crime is a lack of action rather than the action itself - however do not let the terminology fool you. Severe animal neglect can cause incredible pain and suffering to an animal. Examples of neglect are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, allowing a collar to grow into an animal's skin, inadequate shelter in extreme weather conditions, and failure to seek veterinary care when an animal needs medical attention. In many cases of neglect where an investigator feels that the cruelty occurred as a result of ignorance, they may attempt to educate the pet owner and then revisit the situation to check for improvements. In more severe cases however, exigent circumstances may require that the animal is removed from the site immediately and taken in for urgent medical care.
Active Cruelty (Acts of Comission)
Active cruelty implies malicious intent, where a person has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to an animal, and is sometimes referred to as NAI (Non-Accidental Injury). Acts of intentional cruelty are often some of the most disturbing and should be considered signs of serious psychological problems. This type of behavior is often associated with sociopathic behavior and should be taken very seriously. Animal abuse in violent homes can take many forms and can occur for many reasons. Many times a parent or domestic partner who is abusive may kill, or threaten to kill, the household pets to intimidate family members into sexual abuse, to remain silent about previous or current abuse, or simply to psychologically torture the the victims, flexing their "power".Read more: http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/animal_cruelty.php
MULESING SHEEP CRUELTY
Mulesing is the practice of gouging out large areas of skin from around the tail area of a sheep. Despite their obvious pain and suffering, the animals are not given any pain relief. It is done by Australian sheep farmers and New Zealand sheep farmers in an attempt to stop fly strike.
The Bloody After effects Of Mulesing. Horrific!
The sheep that this practice is carried out on are not given any form of anesthetic or painkillers. Imagine having part of your bottom half sliced off to the muscle or bone...What Is Fly Strike
Fly Strike is a disease that east Sheep alive! The most common type of sheep in Australia is the Merino. They are a magnificent animal unfortunately bred with wrinkly skin so they produce more wool. This means more money for the Farmer! The weight of the wool often causes these Sheep to collapse from the heat during the summer months. Their wrinkles collect things like urine and moisture. The hot, damp environment in the folds of this sheep attracts flies. They lay eggs. Then, the hatched maggots east the Marino alive.
The Mulesing process is quite simple, yet barbaric beyond words.
It is a process developed way back in 1929 by John Mules. For 85 years it has been common practice in the husbandry process of Merino sheep in Australia and New Zealand. Merino Lambs are forced on to their backs in restraint and chunks of their skin and muscle are hacked from their rumps with an implement resembling garden shears. Often the sheep will have their tale docked at the same time and the remaining stump is also skinned. all of this is done without any pre or post pain relief measures. Farmers who are in favour of this process claim is saves over 3 million sheep a year from Fly Strike. However, what they fail to acknowledge is that these bleeding, open wounds are also subject to a more painful maggot infestation, not to mention other types of infection.
It certainly makes my skin crawl. I just can't imagine the agony these poor animals feel. The use of Merino wool across the globe is reducing. In 2009, British Department Store John Lewis joined the boycott. As a result of these and other boycotts, Australia's wool industry is working hard to eliminate the practice. There are also some European retailer who agreed to lift the ban of Merino wool if pain relief was used during the practice. However, it is telling that these Companies refuse to announce this policy change publicly for fear of backlash. The Australian Wool Innovation pledged to stop the practice by the end of 2010. however, today is still goes on. The sad thing is Merino sheep can be bread to be resistant the Fly Strike.
There are alternative treatment's to this barbaric act. Obviously becoming Vegetarian or vegan is the best way to stop this completely. However, some of the non-surgical alternatives include:
- Protein-based treatments which kill wool folicles and tighten the skin in the appropriate areas on the sheep
- Biological control of Blowflies. Unfortunately this in itself is cruel
- Plastic Clips on the Sheep's skin folds acts like castration bands. This method needs further investigation as it sounds painful
- Tea Tree Oil has a 100% kill rate of first stage maggots and repels adult flies. The killing of maggots is unacceptable
These viable alternatives are seen as too expensive to implement in some quarters. The best alternative solution to Veganism and Vetetarianism is breeding. This is the long term solution of breeding the genetic traits out of the sheep to reduce the probability of contracting fly strike. If you don't want to fund this barbaric act, please don't buy garments with wool from the Countries that practice this outdated husbandry method. Some people prefer not to wear wool at all to ensure no Sheep have suffered in this terrible way.
Puppy Scams & Cons Buyers Beware: Debunking Puppy Scams.
Luckily, many animal lovers are becoming aware that purchasing a dog—or any animal, for that matter—from a pet store is a big no-no. Almost all puppies sold at pet stores come from backyard breeders or puppy mills, where dogs are housed in cramped, filthy conditions without sufficient veterinary care, food, water and socialization. Furthermore, the breeding stock at puppy mills—the moms and dads—are bred as often as possible, for as long as possible, in order to increase profits. But a growing trend among commercial puppy breeders is to cut out the middleman—the pet shop—and use online retailing to get their dogs directly into your homes.
Internet Puppy Scams : Consumers trying to find dogs from reputable breeders or breed rescue groups often turn to the Web for advice. But they soon find themselves bombarded with elaborate websites offering the offspring of “champions.” With a host of fancy terms—certified kennel, AKC registered, pedigree, health certified—and picturesque photos of tail-wagging terriers, doe-eyed Chihuahuas and every other adorable breed, it is easy to become overwhelmed with choices. Don’t be fooled: the Internet is a vast, unregulated marketplace allowing anyone to put up a website claiming anything. Scattered among the websites of reputable breeders and rescue groups, Internet puppy scammers attract potential buyers with endearing pictures and phony promises.
The Loophole : Under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), commercial breeders selling directly to pet stores must be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. However, the AWA does not regulate breeders that sell directly to the public. The AWA was passed in 1966, prior to the Internet boom—lawmakers couldn’t foresee that commercial breeders would someday have the ability to sell directly to the public via the Internet. This loophole allows some puppy mills to operate without a license and without fear of inspection—meaning they are not accountable to anyone for their breeding and care standards. According to a recent ASPCA survey, 89 percent of all “breeders” selling over the Internet are unlicensed by USDA.
The Scams : An informal online survey conducted by the ASPCA reveals that just as many Americans are now purchasing their dogs over the Internet as buying from pet stores. That said, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, hundreds of complaints are filed every year from victims who were scammed when buying a dog online. Here are some of the most common scam scenarios predators use on consumers:
- The Bait and Switch: In this classic scam, the
website depicts dozens of photos of cute and cuddly, happy and healthy
puppies. What the consumer doesn’t realize is that these are stock
photos taken from a clip-art file—or simply stolen from other websites.
In this scam, virtually all contact is done via email, and the puppy is
typically shipped without the buyer ever seeing the dog in person. The
scam is revealed when the dog is delivered and the buyer is faced not
with the adorable puppy from the photos, but a sickly dog, often of a
different color or with different markings. Scammers count on people
feeling guilty or compassionate and choosing not to send the puppy back.
- Free to Good Home: Internet scammers don’t
just use cute photos to lure potential puppy buyers. They also resort
to verbal deceit. With the “free to good home” scam, the perpetrator
will often post a sad story of having to find homes for his purebred
puppies immediately—he just lost his wife, they must be placed for a
dying relative, he is going to Africa to be a missionary, etc. Victims
are offered a puppy free of charge, and asked only to pay the shipping
fee—usually about $400. Buyers are asked to send all payments via a
Western Union wire transfer or money order. These methods are favorites
among scam artists because they are the equivalent of sending cash—the
money can’t be recovered by the victim. This scam is particularly
heartbreaking because there is no real dog involved! Victims usually arrive at the airport to pick up their new puppy, only to find that they have been scammed.
- Sanctuaries or Scamtuaries? Unfortunately,
this next scam preys on animal lovers who want to help dogs in need. In
this scenario, the puppy mill will actually set up its website as a
“rescue group” or “sanctuary,” offering purebred puppies who have been
rescued from shelters, bad breeders, even from puppy mills! The scam is
revealed by the price tag—the “adoption fees” for these dogs often
exceed $1,000! Breed rescue groups charge nominal fees—usually no more
than a few hundred dollars—because their goal is not to make money, but
to find wonderful homes for their rescues.
- AKC-Registered : AKC registry is a service provided by the American Kennel Club. While many people believe AKC registration means their puppies came from reputable breeders, being AKC-registered means nothing more than your puppy’s parents both had AKC papers. While there are some AKC regulations, they do not restrict puppy mills from producing AKC-registered dogs. The fact is, many AKC-registered dogs are born in puppy mills.
How Can I Avoid Being Scammed? The best way to avoid being scammed is to simply never buy a dog you haven’t met in person. Please also keep in mind that adoption is still the best option, even if you have your heart set on a purebred dog. There are thousands of dogs waiting for good homes at local animal shelters, including purebreds! Keep an eye on your local shelter, as purebreds turn up more often than people think. There are also a number of reputable breed rescue groups passionate about finding great homes for purebred dogs who have been abandoned, abused or surrendered to shelters. It’s also important to note that the Internet is a very valuable tool for finding reputable breeders and breed rescue groups in your area. When looking for your puppy online, just make sure you follow these simple tips:
- Always check references, including others who have purchased pets from this breeder and the veterinarian the breeder works with.
- Be sure to deal directly with a breeder, not a broker.
- Never send Western Union or money order payments.
- Always visit. Reputable breeders and rescue groups will be more than happy to offer you a tour.
- If you are told that there will be no refunds for a sick puppy, you are most probably dealing with a puppy mill. A reputable breeder or rescue group will always take the puppy back, regardless of the reason.
- Always pick your puppy up at the kennel. Do not have the puppy shipped or meet at a random location.
How Do I Report a Scam? If you feel you have been a victim of a puppy scam, please contact the following organizations:sharing your story on ASPCA.org. To tell us what happened, email email@example.com.
Class B Dealers
By Stephanie Edwards
In the shadowy world of Class B dog and cat dealers, an animal’s life can be harsh and unrelenting. Animals may suffer from crowded and unsanitary conditions, poor food, and insufficient water. Veterinary care may be nonexistent. They may not even survive their time in a Class B dealer’s hands.
So who are Class B dog and cat dealers? They're brokers who acquire animals from a variety of sources—including "pounds," flea markets, and newspaper ads—and then sell them to research institutions or veterinary schools. Class B dealers are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which mandates minimum care and handling standards for animals in a variety of environments. But these dealers, putting profits before pooches, are regularly cited for violating the AWA and have long been a cause for concern for many.
What is Class B Animal Abuse? Animals used by laboratories for testing purposes are largely supplied by dealers who specialize in the trade. These include breeders who supply purpose-bred animals; businesses that trade in wild animals; and dealers who supply animals sourced from pounds, auctions, and newspaper ads. Animal shelters may also supply the laboratories directly. Some animal dealers are reported to engage in kidnapping pets from residences or illegally trapping strays, a practice dubbed as "bunching". The customers of animal dealers are universities, medical and veterinary schools, and companies that provide contract animal-testing services. Here is a link to all business that hold a Class B license: See link below: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/downloads/reports/B_cert_holders.txt
In honor of the 60th anniversary of The Humane Society of the United States, LIFE Magazine has revisited the classic Stan Wayman photo-essay, “Concentration Camps for Dogs.” The eight-page article and series of shocking photos, originally published in February 1966, built on a five-year HSUS investigation of dog dealing that brought to light the mistreatment of pets stolen and sold to medical research.
The exposé generated more letters from LIFE readers than even the war in Vietnam, an attack on Civil Rights marchers by police, or the escalation of the Cold War. It spurred Congress to hold hearings on the issue, and just months later, after lobbying by The HSUS and others, to pass the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in August 1966.
There has been much progress for animals over the past decades, but surprisingly, this shadowy and unsavory business of so-called Class B animal dealers rounding up pets and funneling them into research laboratories has not been completely rooted out—though it appears to be on its last legs.
Just a handful of these dealers still obtain dogs and cats from various “random sources,” including auctions, flea markets and animal shelters. Some Class B dealers have also been known to obtain animals from unregulated middlemen known as “bunchers,” who have been documented acquiring lost, stray and “free to a good home” pets, and even pets from neighborhood backyards.
As of September 2014, there are three active Class B dealers of live, “random source” dogs and cats licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell these animals to research facilities. During fiscal year 2007 (the most recent year for which data is available), 2,863 Class B dogs and 276 Class B cats were sold for research.
Violations of the Animal Welfare Act continue to occur, including lack of veterinary care, food or water, inhumane handling, fraudulent paperwork associated with the requirement to prove that an animal is not a stolen pet. These dealers are now providing fewer than 3 percent of the dogs and cats used in research, yet our federal government spends significant time and money regulating them and trying to chase down the problems associated with the trade.
Fortunately policymakers are working to crack down on the problem. The National Institutes of Health instituted a phase out of funding for research involving acquisition of cats and dogs from random source dealers, with the cat policy taking effect in 2012 and the dog policy taking effect in 2014. Georgia Regents University announced it would stop buying dogs from Class B dealers after an HSUS undercover investigation in 2013, and the USDA revoked the license of the dealer involved in selling dogs for dental research.
Congressman Mike Doyle, D-Pa., has introduced the Pet Safety and Protection Act, H.R.2224, which has 74 co-sponsors and would end the use of random source dogs and cats in research.
As LIFE looks back on a story that drove public awareness and policy reform for animals on a national level, it’s time to celebrate the progress that’s been made but also look at the remaining gaps in the legal framework and make sure we finish the job on these cruelties.
The Crime Connection
An abuser may harm animals in order to isolate or control a partner, as evidenced by a Chicago Police Department Domestic Violence Program survey, which found that 30 percent of animal abuse arrestees had records of domestic violence. Other times, a perpetrator may harm a pet in retaliation for an owner’s perceived wrongdoing. One such case involved 20-year-old landscaper Enrique Barreno, who was convicted of burglary and extreme animal cruelty in 2008 and sentenced to 28 months in prison by a Las Cruces, New Mexico, court. Two days after being fired, Barreno broke into the home of his former employer and hanged “Arthur,” the family dog, with an electrical cord after the animal allegedly attacked him.
The Cruelty Of Bear Baiting
Bear baiting is possibly the world‘s most savage blood sport. Teeth and claws removed, bears are tied to a post and set-upon by pit bull terriers. All in the name of entertainment.
What is bear baiting?
Usually held at local fairs in Pakistan, this cruel practice pits dogs against bears that have had their claws and teeth removed. The extraction of teeth and claws in it self is a cruel and agonizing practice. Before the fight, the bears are tied to a post, which renders them defenseless to the dogs‘ frenzied attack.
Where does it take place?
Only in Pakistan.
Is it illegal?
Yes,under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1890 and under the Pakistan Wildlife Act. It is also illegal under Islamic Law to bait animals.
What type of injuries occur?
Bears sustain more injuries than dogs and usually suffer ripped noses and mouths. Most bears are permanently scarred, but the killing of either animal is avoided, as they are too valuable.
How many animals are involved?
Up to 300 bears, and around 1000 dogs were involved when WSPA first under took investigations. Today the number of fighting bears has been reduced to around 50.
How many people attend?
Most fights attract a crowd of up to 2000 spectators.
How much money is made?
Admission costs the equivalent of 25 pence. A bear owner receives up to £75 prevent and a fully trained bear or dog can be worth more than £1000.
What is the long-term chance of stopping this practice?
With the full commitment of the Pakistani government, the chances of ending bear baiting is very high. WSPA is pleased to report increased efforts by the Pakistani Government and wildlife officials, but more action is still needed.
Animals As Fish Bait
Dogs Used as Shark Bait on French Island
Once fishers capture the animals, she said, the dogs and cats are hooked "the day before, so they can bleed sufficiently." Some escape before being tossed into the ocean. Others aren't so lucky. After hooks are plunged into their paws and/or snouts, the animals are attached to inflatable tubes with fishing line and dumped into the ocean, Clicanoo, the newspaper, reports. To avoid detection fishers place their bait in the middle of the night, according to the newspaper account. In the morning the men return to see if a shark has been caught. "Barbaric practices have no excuses, whatsoever, in the 21st century," GRAAL's Jouve said. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Friday Harbor, Washington State, is offering a U.S. $1,000 reward to any Réunion police officer who arrests anyone using live dogs or cats as bait for sharks.
Both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the United Kingdom and the Thirty Million Friends Foundation are asking animal lovers to sign a petition urging the French government to step up enforcement of laws against the use of live dogs as bait.
Live and dead dogs and cats are being used as shark bait by amateur fishers on the French-controlled island of Réunion, according to animal-welfare organizations and local authorities. The small volcanic island off Africa's east coast is bursting with stray dogs—upward of 150,000, says Reha Hutin, president of the Paris-based Fondation 30 Millions d'Amis (the Thirty Million Friends Foundation). Hutin sent a film crew to Réunion this summer to obtain proof that live animals were being used as shark bait. The goal was to expose the practice on the animal rights group's weekly television show. It didn't take long for the film crew to find three separate cases, she said. A videotape and photographs show the dogs with multiple hooks sunk deep into their paws and snouts. "From then on everyone started to take the whole story seriously and realized it was true," Hutin said. Unlike most of the hooked animals, the dog was someone's pet, according to Saliha Hadj-Djilani, a reporter for the Thirty Million Friends Foundation's TV program. The dog had apparently escaped its captors and was taken to the SPA by a concerned citizen. Fully recovered, the animal is now home with its owners. The other two cases uncovered by Thirty Million Friends were strays. They now live in France with new owners. The foundation plans to finance a sterilization program on the island to reduce the stray overpopulation. But the job won't be easy. Hutin said many locals view the strays as vermin. "There's no value to the life of a dog there," she said. Last month, it became illegal for fishing boats to carry any live or dead dogs or cats. Authorities had found a seven-month-old puppy on John Claude Clain's property in July with three fishing hooks in its paws and snout. Clain, a 51-year-old bread deliveryperson, was found guilty of animal cruelty and fined 5,000 euros (U.S. $5,982), according to Clicanoo, a Réunion newspaper.
Many animals are used in scientific and
They often undergo cruel methods of testing and
suffer greatly as a result. Animal experimentation is both cruel and
unnecessary and humans have no right to put innocent animals
through such torture. Scientists often don't benefit from testing on
animals as they are so different from us and react differently to
drugs. Results obtained from experimenting
on animals are unreliable.
There are numerous cases that highlight the absurdity of
assuming that humans and animals have a biology sufficiently
similar for experimentation to yield useful results. For
example: morphine calms humans but excites cats, cortisone
causes birth defects in mice but not in humans, penicillin
kills guiniea pigs and hamsters and aspirin poisons cats.
If the results of tests on animals had been relied upon
we would not have penicillin or digitalis (a drug used
by heart patients but which was withheld for a long time
because it was found to raise the blood pressure of dogs).
We would also be without chloroform (once a common
anaesthetic but not used initially because it was toxic
to dogs) and aspirin (which causes foetal deformities
in rats and is toxic to certain animals). Certain steroids,
adrenaline, insulin and some antibiotics are also toxic to
many animals but medically beneficial to humans.
What happens at a typical organized dog fight?
There are three basic types of dog fighting. There are the professional dog fights—I hate to use the word professional and dog fighting in the same sentence. There are the hobbyists, or the persons who aspire to be professional dog fighters, and then there are the street-level fighters, the gangbangers who torture their dogs into being mean and they'll fight anything.
What about the professionals?
On the professional level it's very well organized. The secrecy is very, very heavy. They will fly dogs across the United States. The matches are set up either by phone or by Internet and the meet can be a neutral place for both parties. The dogs are fought in a very strict weight class. If your dog doesn't come in at the weight it's supposed to for the match, you forfeit the entry fee, which can be pretty heavy sometimes. At a fight back East several years back the police took over $500,000 from the participants and spectators there. Let's be honest, if I'm willing to put my dog on a plane to fly to a neutral spot to fight your dog, I'm not going to do it just for grins.
Describe the start of a fight.
The handlers say, "Face your dogs!" At that point, the dogs are turned around and faced toward each other. There is what they call the scratch line, and when the dog crosses that line he is "scratched," meaning he has full intent to get involved in the fight. The dogs are released from the corner, they "scratch," and then engage. At times the impact of the dogs blocking up is audible, you can hear them collide with one another. It's unbelievable. There is no collar, nothing. They're completely void of any type of control or restraint.
How do you know who wins?
If a dog refuses to scratch, or if the dog jumps out of the ring or refuses to fight, it's over. If a dog gets a lucky shot, if you get a dog that zips in and hits just right and takes out a jugular, the dog is all done. If you get a dog with a broken limb or a broken leg, it's over. Broken limbs are common. You just see how much punishment the other dog will take until he just gives up or he's incapacitated so he can't fight any more.
How long can a fight last?
It varies; it's like a boxing match. But there are timed rounds and they have rest periods and go at it again.
How big do the crowds get?
For security reasons, the crowds are kept as small as possible.
What are the venues like?
The venue can be anything, anywhere. It can be a barn, a commercial building. I have actually seen where they have gone into a housing tract and they broke into a new home and used one of the rooms for a pit. It can be any place that will afford the secrecy they need to prevent getting apprehended.
How are the dogs isolated from the people at a fight?
In the professional world, a man-eater, or a dog that will bite other people, cannot be tolerated and will most likely be destroyed. There are two handlers, either the owner or designated handler, and a referee in the pit with the dogs. The dog has to concentrate on the other dog.
Don't they have a wall?
They do separate and contain the dogs, because they lock up and start tumbling around. The walls are usually 18 to 25 feet, round or square, and usually two and a half to four feet high. They use plyboard, hay bales, any type of barrier. The preference is dirt floor but they also use carpeting to allow dogs to get good traction.
How do they separate them if they're locked up?
They use what they call a "breaking stick." It's a misnomer that the pit bull's jaw locks, but they have such hellacious tenacity that once they get a hold they are not going to let go. Both handlers will have a breaking stick in their pocket, nine to 15 inches long with a flat point on one end of it. It's generally something rigid made of wood or white nylon like cutting boards or plastic. They pry the jaws apart and pull the dogs back to the corner and sponge them like a boxer.
How many dogs are killed in the fights?
Most likely the dogs will be stopped short of death, however there are a number of other things that go beyond that and it just depends on how good of a vet the owner is. You can't go to the neighborhood vet with a dog that you fought because you'd be turned in. Most of them practice their own style of veterinary medicine. Dogs die of infection, they die of shock after the fight, or they're injured so bad they just expire. The actual death in the ring is probably not as often as one might think.
What do they do with dogs that aren't good fighters?
They think, why waste dog food on them. We're talking dollars and cents. If it isn't going to make a yield there's no reason to feed it. That sounds cold, but I'm being bluntly honest. I have actually gone to a place where one of the ways to get rid of a dog was simply attaching a raw electrode to the dog's tongue and a raw electrode to his testicles and then plugging it into the wall. That's sick.
How do they train the dogs?
These dogs are conditioned, not trained. That entails such things as treadmills, or cat-mills—they'll either use a caged cat or a rabbit. They'll simply tie a cat or rabbit to a hot walker like for a horse—it's a big thing that looks like a merry go round with spokes on it. They'll tie a dead cat or a live cat to one of the spokes and tie the dog to one of the other spokes and let him tug that around all day. They use weight training where they have the dogs pull weighted sleds. Then they have the spring pole, which is simply either a tree or a large pole with a spring or a cable or tire on it and the dog will jump up and grab it. He will actually hang on to it and bounce and have his own personal tug of war.
What is the "keep?"
The keep is the intense conditioning period in prep for the fight. During that period of time the dog is handled regularly, exercised regularly. His diet is monitored, he is given vitamins, and his weight is monitored.
What is the rape box?
These dogs are trained to be nasty towards another dog, so consequently if you're going to breed you don't want a female that's in heat tearing up your stud. So you put her in a rape box, which means you basically tie her to a barrel. Then you put him in there with a muzzle on and he does his thing and leaves.
How do bets get placed?
There will be an entry fee into the thing. That comprises the purse and the winner gets that. Then the owners of the dogs will have side bets between themselves. They'll probably cover some action with other people in the audience, and there will be side bets between people in the audience. Sometimes they take outside action and actually film the fight, so you can view it at a later date if you disagree about how your money was won or lost and you weren't among the chosen few who attended.
Are the fights moving away from pit bulls to other breeds?
You hear that from time to time. Over history there have been a number of dogs tried—the Shar-Pei was raised as a pit dog but now they're a trendy pet. But pound for pound they always come back to the little pit bull terrier because they're more bang for your buck, they're the best things going. They're small, they're compact, and they work well for that kind of scenario. The only reason for dog fighting is gambling, period. It's just like cock fighting. It's strictly a gambling scenario, nothing more. They raised Rhodesian Ridgebacks for fighting; Rottweilers are something you'd see on the street level.
How big is this subculture?
The level that garners the most attention is street level because it's in your face and it's practiced by gangs. They'll use anything that has four legs, preferably if it looks like a pit bull, but they'll use Rots or anything else. But professional dog fighting is also there, and it's very, very hard to stumble on. It's real hard to say exactly how big it is, but it is prevalent.
How do you catch these guys?
We use informants, we use people in the neighborhood that call in, we use something as simple as somebody driving by who saw a bunch of dogs staked out. People love animals and when they see something that doesn't look right and they're likely to tell someone and it filters back to us. There are informants, people who didn't think they got a fair shake at a fight who will turn in folks.
Why do you think professional athletes would be into something like this?
I will be very honest—and I hate to say it—but there have been law-enforcement officers involved, professional athletes, professional people, blue-collar people, gangster people. It's a mixed bag.
Where do they house these dogs?
Wherever they can. Sometimes warehouses, garages, sometimes "on the yard" as they refer to it. That means they drive a car axle into the ground, put a piece of chain on the axle, and put a dog on the end of the chain, and that's where the dog lives.
Is it bigger than cockfighting?
I wouldn't say which is largest; it depends on where you are geographically in the country. It's a gambling "sport," and wherever they can do either one they will.
How do they keep the fight locations secret?
They use countersurveillance—or as we call it dry cleaning—they use background checks, phone calls. There's secrecy, mystique. You might make an arrangement for a fight and they say show up at the Howdy Doody Motel at 6 o'clock Wednesday evening on the 24th. And when you go there and you check in pretty soon you get a phone call in your room that says go to this corner. A car will pick you up, take you someplace else, and then you'll be offloaded out of the car and onto a bus or something. It's very, very cloak and dagger.
I guess they feel like they have to do all that?
Yes, because there are people who are animal lovers who would do everything up to and including put a bullet into some of these clowns.
Puppy Mills: Dogs Abused for the Pet Trade
It can be hard to resist the cute puppies and kittens for sale in pet store windows. But a closer look into how these stores obtain animals reveals a system in which the high price that consumers pay for “that doggie in the window” pales in comparison to the cost paid by animals who are sold in pet stores or forced to produce them. That adorable little scamp in the store probably came from a “puppy mill,” a breeding kennel that raises dogs in cramped, crude, filthy conditions. The majority of these facilities are in the Midwest, but kennels can be found throughout the country, and some dealers even import puppies from other countries. Constant confinement and a lack of adequate veterinary care and socialization often result in animals who are unhealthy and difficult to socialize. As a result, many are abandoned within weeks or months of their adoption by frustrated buyers—further exacerbating the tragic companion animal overpopulation crisis.
Cages, Filth, and Neglect
Puppy mill kennels can consist of anything from small cages made of wood and wire mesh to tractor-trailer cabs or simple tethers attached to trees. One Arkansas facility had “cages hanging from the ceiling of an unheated cinder-block building ….” Female dogs are bred twice a year and are usually destroyed when they are no longer able to produce puppies. Mothers and their litters often suffer from malnutrition, exposure, and a lack of adequate veterinary care.
Puppies are taken from their mothers and sold to brokers who pack them into crates for transport and resale to pet stores. Puppies who are shipped from mill to broker to pet store can travel hundreds of miles in pickup trucks, tractor trailers, and/or airplanes, often without adequate food, water, ventilation, or shelter. Two men faced charges after 38 puppies were found to be confined to a feces-filled van without food, water, or space to exercise. The men were transporting the animals from Oklahoma to Florida when a passerby noticed the dogs’ distressed barking and the foul stench emanating from the van, which was parked at a Daytona Beach motel.
Farms and Brokers Do Big Business
When PETA conducted an undercover investigation at Nielsen Farms, a puppy mill in Kansas, PETA’s investigator found that the dogs had no bedding or protection from the cold or heat. Some dogs were suffering from untreated wounds, ear infections, and abscessed feet. Confinement and loneliness had caused some mother dogs to go mad. PETA’s investigator witnessed one USDA inspection, during which the officer glanced at the cages but did not examine the dogs. Our investigation led to the Kansas facility’s closing and a $20,000 fine from the USDA. The Nielsens are also “permanently disqualified from being licensed” by the USDA.
There are thousands of breeders and dealers across the country. In Missouri alone, there are more than 1,400 licensed dog-breeding operations, although so many illegal breeders are in business that a state audit advised that the program designed to regulate commercial breeding was ineffective. The nation’s largest puppy broker is the Hunte Corporation in Missouri, which also exports dogs overseas. The company has been linked to numerous negligent pet stores and breeders and has sponsored American Kennel Club (AKC) meetings. The USDA has loaned the company more than $4 million for expansion and upgrades in recent years—taxpayer money being used to bring more misery to dogs and puppies.(11)
The Plight of Purebreds
Some people impulsively obtain purebred dogs, even though they may not be educated about the breed or ready for the commitment that animal companions require. Movies such as 101 Dalmatians and Beethoven, TV shows like Frasier, and commercials such as those for Taco Bell have caused a jump in the popularity of certain breeds, yet very few potential dog caretakers take the time to investigate the traits and needs of the breed that they are considering. “Every time Hollywood makes a dog movie, the breed goes to hell,” says one caretaker of Bouvier des Flandres dogs. A Dalmatian fancier concludes that “… the unscrupulous breeders will see there’s a profit margin there.” When there is a surge in demand for a particular breed, puppy mills try to meet that demand, but when Jack Russell terriers don’t turn out to be just like Frasier’s “Eddie” or St. Bernards don’t act just like “Beethoven,” rescue groups and animal shelters become flooded with these breeds.
The AKC, which opposes mandatory spay/neuter programs for purebred dogs, receives millions of dollars from breeders who pay AKC registration fees. The AKC registered more than 421,000 dogs in 2005, some of whom will join the millions of animals who end up in animal shelters every year. Buyers may be swayed by talk of “papers” and “AKC registration,” but these papers cannot ensure good temperament or good health. Says one veterinarian, “The best use of pedigree papers is for housebreaking your dog. They don’t mean a damn thing.” The AKC has minimum care standards for “high-volume breeding” facilities, but with 14 inspectors and an operating budget that is directed toward registration and dog shows, the AKC can only manage to inspect its registered kennels once every two years. By its own admission, some of the more problematic kennels have simply sought registration services (such as Dog Registry of America, Sporting Dog Registry, American Hunting Dog Registry, and All American Dog Registry, to name a few) that don’t perform inspections. At puppy mills, dogs are bred for quantity, not quality, so unmonitored genetic defects and personality disorders that are passed on from generation to generation are common. This situation results in high veterinary bills for people who buy these dogs and the possibility that unsociable or maladjusted dogs will be disposed of by their unprepared “owners.” “There is virtually no consideration of temperament,” says one dog trainer. “I wish legislators could sit in my office and watch ... people sobbing in extreme emotional pain over having to decide whether to euthanize their dog because of some serious behavioral problem.”
The USDA is supposed to monitor and inspect kennels to ensure that they are not violating the housing standards of the Animal Welfare Act, but kennel inspections are a low priority. In the U.S., there are more than 1,000 research facilities, more than 2,800 exhibitors, and 4,500 dealers that are supposed to be inspected each year. There are three APHIS sector offices with a total of approximately 70 veterinary inspectors who are supposed to inspect, unannounced, the various types of facilities covered by the AWA. This means that 70 inspectors have to cover more than 8,300 facilities nationwide. Puppy mills are rarely monitored by state governments, and existing regulations vary from state to state. In Missouri, for instance, each of the 2,100 facilities is supposed to be inspected once a year, but there are only 12 inspectors employed to handle the task. Even with an estimated 1,300 puppy mills in Wisconsin, inspections of breeder facilities that sell at least 50 dogs and cats are voluntary, and there is no funding for enforcement of these regulations.
The Puppy Pipelines
Dealers who want to avoid relevant U.S. laws—the few that exist—look elsewhere to continue doing business. Says one Canadian lawyer, “Puppy mill operators in the States buy from us. And crossing the border isn’t a problem either. They cross them all the time.” For example, there is a network of breeders and smugglers who bring puppies into the U.S. from Mexico. A Los Angeles woman was arrested during a sting operation on suspicion of selling under aged puppies and for failure to provide proper veterinary care for the animals; one of the officers involved in the capture of the woman said that the smuggler fit the description of a puppy smuggler: The person uses an alias and a throwaway cell phone and sells puppies from the backs of cars or on street corners. A New Hampshire breeder, who was arrested for cruelty to animals when dozens of dogs and cats were found living in filth, was selling puppies from Russia for as much as $1,900 each on the Internet.
While no federal agency tracks the number of puppies that enter the U.S., an investigation by a New York TV station concluded that thousands of puppies arrive every year and that many are sick or dead when they get here. A staff member at a private veterinary clinic at John F. Kennedy Airport told the CBS affiliate that she had seen “a couple of cases where they (puppies) were shrink-wrapped.” The station also found that although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies have been alerted to the problem of under aged, sick puppies who are crammed and shipped into filthy, crowded kennels for hours at a time, none has jurisdiction over the animals’ care. The CDC only checks animals for rabies, and the USDA regulations for dogs’ age and transport conditions do not apply to foreign shipments.
Some states have enacted “puppy lemon” laws that give caretakers the right to return sick or dead puppies for replacement or that offer the option of having veterinary expenses paid by the seller. Unfortunately, depending on the state, the law may not clearly say to whom it applies, or it may affect only pet stores or breeders that sell a certain number of animals each year. Check with your state’s attorney’s office to find out about your state’s laws.
What You Can Do
With millions of unwanted dogs and cats (including purebreds) dying every year in animal shelters, there is simply no reason for animals to be bred and sold for the pet-shop trade. Without these stores, the financial incentive for puppy mills would disappear, and the suffering of these dogs would end. The best way to find an animal companion is through an animal shelter or rescue group.
Bestiality (or zoophilia) is a paraphilia defined as an affinity, attraction or sexual attraction by a human to non-human animals. Because this topic deals openly about about the nature of bestiality, it is intended for mature audiences only. While moral and clinical descriptions of bestiality differ, Pet-Abuse.Com takes the position that bestiality is sexual assault of an animal and is always a crime. Amazingly, there are still several states in which bestiality is legal. In those situations where the prosecutors do not have specific bestiality laws to use in their case, we recommend exploring the cruelty to animals statues: if it can be proved that the animal was made to suffer, you can use those laws where the bestiality laws may be lacking (or missing outright).
The following is reprinted from: The Animals' Agenda P.O. Box 25881 Baltimore, MD 21224 (410) 675-4566 www.animalsagenda.org Types of sex with Animals
- Opportunistic or Safety-Valve sex: "I need a sexual release... they're available... there are no human partners around... I'll get it with an animal."
- Fixated Sex: Animals become love objects and are the exclusive sexual "partners" for a human.
- Domineering sex: When batterers, rapists and pornographers force sex between a human and an animal for purposes of humiliation, sexual exploitation, dominance and control. C.J.A. Safety-valve sex is often seen as a casual act of the curious young, as sexual exploration rather than deviancy.
Bears, snakes, dogs, and insects to name just a few species of animals have been photographed or videotaped in a variety of sexual and sexualized positions with women. sex "clubs" around the globe offer live scenes of sex between women and animals. Some towns along the U.S./Mexican border feature shows "starring" women and donkeys. Women of color are often depicted with animals as a way of enforcing the racist notion that women of color are insatiable. Through pornography, dogs, snakes, and other animals, help a man picture himself in the scene. What the pornography consumer claims to be fantasy, we must regard as documentation of harm: a real woman must have a real snake inside her for a photograph of a snake inside her to exist, a real woman must give oral sex to a real bear in order for a photograph of a woman giving oral sex to a bear to exist.
In addition to being used as a means of degrading women, bestiality figures in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and of course, attitudes toward animals. The imputation of bestiality has been used to portray a specific group of people as "others," to distance them from those making the charges. Sometimes miscegenation (the mixing of races) is referred to as bestiality. One group of American white supremacists believes that Jews are descended from Cain, himself the offspring of Eve's coupling with the snake, while Christians are descended from Abel, the child of Eve and Adam. European colonizers and American slave owners believed that African women enjoyed intercourse with apes. European women charged with being witches were accused of sexual congress with animals, and they and their animal companions were killed.
Animals Used for Fur
Beavers are extremely gentle, family-oriented animals who mate for life and remain lifelong friends with their offspring. The second-largest rodent in the world, the beaver can live 19 years, reach 60 pounds, and grow up to 4 feet long. Baby beavers, or "kits," are usually born to hard-working, loving parents who have been together for many years. Female beavers are especially busy as they care for their young while looking after their rambunctious "teenagers." Read More
Chinchillas are shy, intelligent animals who eat vegetables and fruits and can live up to 15 years in the wild. Social "chatterboxes," these sensitive nocturnal animals can spend all night long "talking" to one another. Fastidiously clean, they require frequent dust baths to care for their extremely dense fur. These "fluff fests" also provide invaluable moments of comfort and entertainment—moments that are denied caged chinchillas who are cruelly "farmed" for their fur. Read More
Dogs and Cats
"Man's best friend" killed for fur? It's not just a bad dream. PETA's recent undercover investigation into the Chinese dog and cat fur trade revealed what the industry is so desperate to hide. Even our veteran investigators were horrified at what they found: Millions of dogs and cats in China are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and strangled with wire nooses so that their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets. Read More
Foxes are intelligent nocturnal animals who rely on their big bushy tails to spread scent in order to communicate. Foxes usually survive by eating fruit, berries, roots, carrion, rats, and slugs. Foxes play an important ecological role, as they "clean" the environment, and their survival often depends upon the amount of available food in their territories. They bury food and have a very good sense of hearing, picking up sounds of small animals in the grass, underground, or under the snow. They have a keen sense of smell and will hunt from dusk to dawn. Read More
Sometimes called "marsh otters," minks love to swim (aided by their slightly webbed hind feet) and are often found near water. They can swim to depths of 50 feet underwater on just one breath. In the wild, minks are generally territorial and solitary and often travel long distances, sometimes using the dens of other animals as "hotel pit stops." Minks prefer habitats that provide good cover—such as grass, brush, trees, and aquatic vegetation—and they make their dens in cavities in brush or rock piles, logjams, and exposed roots of trees. Read More
Rabbits are extremely social animals who live with their families in underground burrows called "warrens." They can hop faster than a cat, human, or white-tailed deer can run. Rabbits love nibbling on alfalfa, timothy hay, apples, carrots, and crisp, green veggies, and they chew vigorously to trim their front teeth, which never stop growing. They communicate through body language, marking their territories like cats by rubbing their chins on twigs, rocks, or other landmarks. Read More
Raccoons can be recognized by their beautiful eyes, which are outlined by a black mask of fur. They have thick, fuzzy brown-gray fur, and highly sensitive ears tufted with white fur. Those who live in humid, dense forests have darker fur than those in arid climates, where raccoon fur is a lighter, reddish color. Their bushy tails keep them balanced and stores fat during winter months, while their front limbs provide them with great manual dexterity. Read More
For thousands of years,
For nearly two centuries, Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has waged a war on black bears, subsidizing the slaughter of hundreds of these animals in Canada and using their pelts to make headpieces for The Queen's Guards. Read MoreTo read more: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/animals-used-for-fur.aspx
Peta's take on Cruel Practices
While some lucky animal companions are treated as members of the family (as they should be!), many others experience nothing but suffering, abuse, and sadness. Some forms of abuse and neglect of animals are illegal, but in many states, animals have no legal protection from "standard" practices such as being chained to a post all day and night; having their toes, ears, or tails cut off for human convenience or preference; or being forced to wear collars that deliver painful shocks in response to perfectly normal behavior such as barking.
Chaining dogs, while unfortunately legal in most areas, is one of the cruelest punishments imaginable for social animals who need and deserve companionship, exercise, and mental stimulation. It can also turn dogs into ticking time bombs: Many people, especially children, have been bitten, mauled, or killed by chained dogs. Similarly, keeping dogs in crates or cages prevents them from satisfying all their needs and is just a way for guardians to ignore and warehouse their dogs until they get around to taking care of them properly.
Birds don't belong in cages, either. Bored, lonely, denied the opportunity to fly or stretch their wings, and deprived of companionship, many birds become neurotic—pulling out their own feathers, bobbing their heads incessantly, and repeatedly pecking at the bars of their cages.
Declawing, another cruel practice performed only for the convenience of the cat’s owner, is a painful mutilation that involves 10 individual amputations—not of the nails but of the ends of the toes themselves (bone and all). The long-term effects of declawing include skin and bladder problems and the gradual weakening of cats' legs, shoulders, and back muscles. Declawing is both painful and traumatic, and it has been outlawed in Germany and other parts of Europe as a form of cruelty.
Cruel, unnecessary surgeries that are performed on dogs, including ear-cropping, tail-docking, and debarking, are so painful and traumatic to dogs that they are banned in many countries, but they remain legal in the U.S.
"Training" devices such as shock collars, electric fences, and prong collars rely on painful punishment and negative reinforcement, causing dogs to live in fear of being electrocuted or choked for normal behavior such as crossing invisible lines, barking, jumping onto surfaces within their own homes, and pulling on the leash during walks.
Hoarding of animals exists in virtually every community. Formerly referred to as "collectors" and regarded as well-intentioned people who were overwhelmed by the animal overpopulation crisis, hoarders are now seen in a very different light. New information has shown that the problem is far more serious than having too big a heart. The consequences for hoarders, their human dependents, animals, and the community are extremely serious—and often fatal for animals.
We owe it to our animal companions to make their lives as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. Read on to find out more about these cruel practices, how you can protect animals from them, and what humane methods are available to help you live in harmony with your animal companion.
How to find & detect Snares and traps.
Please note it is not just gamekeepers that set snares some farmers do as well as do poachers this is why the use of a metal detector is so use full in finding snares and traps. The Snare in the photo is a Illegal AB Snare thank you to the NASC for the photo.
The photo above shows a female badger killed by a snare this year in South Yorkshire, and the cub which died of starvation/dehydration at her nearby set to see the full Story visit the www.antisnaring.org.uk/ I would like to thank Simon Wild and the team at the NASC for the photo.
In the case of wild bird traps look on fence posts and tree stumps for the Pole trap. The best way to detect this type of trap is with good quality binoculars to scan the top of fence posts you can cover a very big area in a matter of minutes as the trap will be on top and in the open. If you see a lot of moss on a post or tree stump then this may indicate that the trap is under the moss as most game keepers and criminals will hide the trap not just form the birds but from people looking for them as well so keep your eye's open.
The photo above shows us the work of a Mark IV Fenn trap with a stoat trapped and killed in it the Fenn trap was invented by Mr A. A. Fenn from Alcester, Warwickshire United Kingdom there are a number of models now available and are used around the world. The places to look for the Fenn trap are along fences, hedges or the banks of a stream, in bush among tree roots, beside fallen logs or in dry culverts or any where for that matter.
This photo of a Vixen fox that got trapped in a Gin Trap just shows the cruelty and why if you see traps like the Gin Trap and more they should be removed and reported to the Police or your Local Animal Rescue Centre. I would like to say a big thank you to Paul & Marie from Derbyshire Fox Rescue for the Photos. You can visit their site here & here is their Business site.
This fox that got court in a banned Gin Trap was found by Some caring members of the public that alerted the Galway Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ireland. Click here to see the full article about this case. I would like to say a big thank you to the following people for allowing me to re-publish the photo and to show how cruel devises like this are and if you find them report them. First thank you goes to Philip Kiernan of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. I would like to say a big thank you to Margaret O'Sullivan and the team at the Galway SPCA Ireland for their permission to publish the photo as well on this site thank you.
Anyone found guilty of setting a gin trap which causes unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a maximum £5,000 fine and/or six months in prison. In 2004, there were 23 convictions for trapping-related offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. When investigating gin trap complaints always check the underside of any trap for signs of soil or fresh rust, also check the spring mechanism for oil and scuff marks. These signs may indicate the recent use of the trap. Be aware that legal spring traps which have been modified by having teeth cut into the jaws or even having fencing staples welded onto them are illegal. These modifications alter the trap into a form of gin. If you have Information on People having leg traps in your area inform the local http://www.online.police.uk/forces.htm to check it out or your local RSPCA Inspector www.rspca.org that will be more than happy to help and have the power to get access to the device to check it out do not tell the person that you are going to report them for having the device.
Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW)
Enforcement Plan (2004 - 2007)
The Loss of a Companion Animal
Your animal companion is a member of your family. So, much like the death of a parent, sibling, spouse, or dear friend, the grief over the loss of an animal companion can be overwhelming and even debilitating. Unfortunately, society has been slow to recognize formalized rituals for animal deaths. Companies usually don’t include nonhuman companions in their bereavement-leave policies. Your friends, family, and coworkers may seem indifferent and unsympathetic. With seemingly nowhere to turn for support, animal caretakers sometimes feel ashamed and try to hide their grief. When faced with loss, keeping your feelings to yourself or denying them altogether can be unhealthy. Fortunately, there are ways to cope.
Different Kinds of Loss
Death can happen expectedly, after a long-term illness or when age has taken its toll. Equally painful are unexpected deaths, such as vehicle accidents or fatal injuries. When human error or maliciousness are to blame for an animal’s demise, feelings of guilt or anger can complicate an already devastating time. If there is a question of wrongful death, do not rule out legal proceedings. State laws are constantly improving with regard to animal abuse and compensation for the loss of companion animals. Visit your state’s legislative Web site for more information. Perhaps your dog was stolen or your cat was accidentally let out or simply disappeared, leaving you without the ability to say goodbye or the knowledge of his or her whereabouts and safety. Divorce, college, or other kinds of forced separation can also prompt feelings of grief.
When Death Is a Decision
If your animal companion’s quality of life has diminished to the point where therapy or medicine is no longer able to help, euthanasia is the only humane choice. Discuss this option thoroughly with your veterinarian. Once you have resolved to end your friend’s suffering, insist on being with him or her during the procedure. Ask about sedative options in order to make your companion’s passing as stress-free as possible. As devastating as it may seem, euthanasia is never a mistake. Delaying, in the hope that one more day might make a difference, may actually mean just one more day of distress. Your friend may feel your pain, too, and try to hold on for your sake. Dealing with these emotions, and especially the guilt afterwards, is a journey unto itself.
Stages of Grief
Psychologists and philosophers have studied the grieving process for centuries but have only recently truly begun to explore the effects of death in the relationships between humans and companion animals. Medical students are still expected to read Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ On Death and Dying.(1) Her landmark work from the 1960s defines five stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.(2) Most contemporary doctors agree that the linear progression of stages should only be used as a guide for understanding grief and death, since the mourning process is unique to each person. There should be no timetable for getting through your heartache, nor should you feel as if something is wrong if you skip a stage or find yourself moving in and out of stages. Guilt is a common emotion throughout the process—guilt over the decision to euthanize, guilt for not closing the door properly or for allowing your dog to run without a leash, and even guilt for feeling better, as if letting go is a betrayal. Healthy grieving means getting through your pain, not letting it take over your life, and eventually remembering your companion fondly.
Where to Find Comfort
Don’t hesitate to ask for help dealing with your heartache. Solace is to be found in a number of places. Support groups are springing up everywhere, some sponsored by professionals, and can give you the opportunity to share your feelings with people who understand your pain. There are help lines that you can call and many books for adults and children that deal with losing an animal companion. Some veterinary schools are increasing their efforts to help alleviate animal caretakers’ grief and have social workers on hand for counseling. The Internet is a wonderful resource for helping you find groups, individual grief counselors, and even chatrooms. Sympathetic family and friends can be a great source of comfort, too. They probably have known your nonhuman companion for as long as you have and can share fond memories.
A burial service can provide closure. There are hundreds of pet cemeteries around the world as well as several companies that manufacture coffins, urns, and grave markers for companion animals. If you decide on a home burial, however, you must first check with city and county ordinances to determine the legality of interment. Your veterinarian can also dispose of the body but you may want to ask about the clinic’s policy. Space or legal limitations may necessitate developing your own method of remembrance. Your veterinarian can recommend an animal crematory center, enabling you to keep the remains in an urn for a private memorial at your companion’s favorite park or beach.
You’re Not the Only One Hurting
There is a natural tendency for parents to try to protect their children from the painful experience of death. Parents make up stories about animals’ “running away” or “going to live on a farm.” Euthanasia shouldn’t be explained as “putting to sleep,” as children might begin to fear bedtime. But the animal’s absence, for whatever reason the child believes, can still prompt feelings of guilt, anger, sadness, and confusion. Age will determine a child’s ability to grasp the concept of death, but simple, straightforward explanations and a willingness to answer questions and listen will help any child work through a difficult situation. Consult your veterinarian or pediatrician for resources on explaining animal loss to children.
Don’t forget your other animal companions. They won’t necessarily understand what happened to their friend, so consider allowing your surviving animal companions to view the body of the deceased so that they, too, can attain closure. It is not unusual for the animals who are left behind to show signs of depression such as loss of appetite or strange sleeping patterns, or they may search for their friend. Try to maintain their regular routines and encourage physical activities. Don’t rush into adopting another animal for your surviving animal companions’ sake. They need time to grieve, too, and introducing a new family member too soon may cause more stress.
If You Know Someone Who Has Lost an Animal Companion
The most important things that you can do are to listen and to be sympathetic. Refrain from asking when he or she is going to get another animal. Encourage your friend or relative to recount fond memories and write down important dates in his or her nonhuman companion’s life. Send a condolence card; there are lots of them specifically made for this situation. You can also make a donation to an animal-related organization in the companion’s name. And check up on your friend to see how he or she is doing.