As dog lovers, it’s a topic that saddens and enrages us more than almost anything else: animal cruelty. Most of us would leap at the chance to help a neglected or abused animal, but when the pet belongs to someone else, it feels like there’s little we can do besides stand by helplessly. In fact, there are steps you can take to help spot and stop animal cruelty.
In New York, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has partnered with the New York Police Department (NYPD) to offer public information sessions on identifying and reporting animal cruelty. They offered up some essential tips for recognizing animal abuse, and helping to stop it.
Some signs of animal cruelty are obvious: emaciation, wounds, matted fur, skin rashes, and pets kept in clearly unsafe or unsanitary environments. The ASPCA warns us to be on the alert for other potentially dangerous situations specific to the summer months:
- An animal left alone in a vehicle.
- An animal outside without adequate food, water, and shelter.
- An animal that appears to be succumbing to heat exhaustion. Symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse.
New Yorkers can report these incidents, or other suspected cases of cruelty, by calling 311. Anyone witnessing a crime in progress should call 911. This is your opportunity to help stop animal cruelty.
For more on identifying and reporting animal cruelty both inside and outside of NYC, visit the ASPCA online.