It seems the United States is finally beginning to take a hard look not only at antiquated animal cruelty laws on the books but that in many places there are no animal cruelty laws at all. This doesn’t mean there will be overnight success or that thousands if not millions of animals won’t suffer until new laws are in place, but at least it appears there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. We must remember though, that even with the most stringent of laws, we must still catch the bad guys before they can be prosecuted and we must still find the animals that are suffering before we can save them.
Along with this, we must educate people about animal cruelty. There are still way to many people that are of the mind “it’s just a dog” or “it’s just a cat.” Some of the prosecutors that are key individuals with the power to actually do something to punish those that harm animals are members of this mindset according to the article I read at MSN News “Animal Cruelty Laws are Among the Fastest-Growing“.
Always a good place to start any education process is with children. Even if they themselves are not animal-lovers, parents with young children need to begin teaching their children as soon as they are old enough to understand that one must be kind to animals. The more children that grow up with a kind attitude towards animals, the less animals will suffer and the less animal cruelty cases will need to be prosecuted.
Teachers have a difficult job to do, and although it would be a great addition to school curriculum, I don’t expect they need to develop an entire class on animal cruelty. They could could devote a few minutes on a regular basis to touch on topics involving animal cruelty. Young children seem to have a natural love for animals which if nurtured, will go a very long way in the right direction. Being that children are impressionable, their teachers can help simply by planting the seed of kindness and respect for animals.
Then there are the perpetrators. The ones who right now, today, as you read this are in some way hurting an animal. What do we do to get through to them? How do we stop them? Locate them, arrest, them prosecute them and then educate them so that hopefully, they will stop the horrendous abuse and neglect they inflict.
Because we are finally seeing a much needed movement towards implementing new and improving existing laws, we need to educate the adults that currently deal with these issues. Not only do we need tough laws to prosecute violators, we need to teach prosecutors holding the “it’s just a dog” mentality, that it’s NOT just a dog.
We are not asking those who are not animal lovers to begin loving animals. We are only asking that you practice animal kindness and respect in your daily lives. If everyone did this, we wouldn’t need animal cruelty laws because there wouldn’t be anyone to prosecute. Now wouldn’t that be something?
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