Giving a Helping Hand to Furry Paws

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Giving a Helping Hand to Furry Paws

Sarah Clark, Staff Writer

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Animal cruelty is a very controversial topic globally, and different countries have different methods to deal with it. Some countries  have no laws in place whatsoever to protect animals and they end up being poorly abused. Other countries have some laws in place, but it is not enough to do much when the situation of animal abuse arise, plus the laws may not be enforced very effectively.  Whatever the case may be, animal abuse is a large worldly problem that must be dealt with in some way.

   Some countries’ level of abuse towards animals is severely unethical. For example, the country of Bulgaria has  had instances where stray cats and dogs have been poisoned, decapitated, and then their corpses could be hanged off of bridges or trees. There have also been reports of masters killing their dogs for no reason. Other instances have happened in the country of China in which they are familiar with skinning live animals such as foxes. Normally, fish that are caught in China  are also gutted while still alive. There have also been many instances in which different types of birds have been caught being tortured in this country. The Netherlands have also been noted for their wide instances of animal abuse. For instance the country is known for trading various animals that are notably sick, such as horses, cats, dogs, swans, and many others. One woman in the Netherlands was charged with “killing animals for art.” A common form of animal abuse that occurs here is also butchering dogs without their masters present, or throwing baby chicks into a shredder. In fact, statistically it is argued that the group of animals most widely abused are chickens due to the fact that they have about a six week life cycle before slaughter and some countries have no guidelines on how this is to be done. Chickens are also gassed  in some instances, such as when male breeders have no use for them. Hundreds of millions of chickens are known to have been killed this way.

   Other countries such as Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Germany have effective laws in place to prevent and deal with animal abuse in their countries. In the country of Switzerland very strict laws are put in place for the better treatment of animals such as pet owners not being able to crop the tails of dogs, sandpaper cannot be used to line the bottom portion of birdcages, and puppies cannot be separated from their mothers until they are at least 56 days old. There are also rules regarding more social species of animals such as yaks, birds, and fish must have companions if kept in captivity, and horses cannot be tied up and must be in close living range with other horses. Hong Kong has very harsh punishments as of the year of 2006 for acts of animal cruelty including a fine of 200,000 Hong Kong Dollars and a sentence of imprisonment for up to three years. In 2002, Germany also made efforts to strengthen animal cruelty laws. The country added a provision to their constitution and was the first country in the European Union to give animals constitutional protection under the law.

   Whether it is deliberate or not, the United States has critical issues with animal abuse as well. Although there are laws in place to protect animals, animal abuse still occurs frequently in the United States. In fact, statistically an animal is abused every ten seconds. The most usual targets for animal abuse in this country are that of dogs, cats, horses and livestock. Some incidents of abuse are due to neglect and owners not noticing that what they are doing could be considered abuse, such as not buying a new collar for their dog if they feel the other is getting too small for the animal. There is also another circumstance that is an extreme act of neglect is hoarding. Animal hoarding is an instance in which many animals are placed in the same area and most often times lack necessities such as enough food and water and a sanitary environment.Like in other countries, there are also deliberate acts of abuse, but if caught there would most likely be consequences. In most cases, animal cruelty is charged as a misdemeanor offense, and there are also instances where people are fined a certain amount of money. In some cases, the convicted person may also be imprisoned. Organized cruelty is a thing in the United States as well. Things such as dogfighting and cockfighting are organized instances of animal cruelty where animals are forced to fight each other, sometimes until the point of death, while people wrongfully place bets on which animal they think will “win.”

   Animal abuse even occurs on smaller scales, such as counties and towns like Allegany County and the town of Cuba. I spoke with Linda Botens, who is currently an Animal Control officer for the village of Cuba.  A big issue regarding this is not so much animal abuse, as it is animal neglect, although abuse does occur as it would be expected to. Neglect happens frequently with animals such as cats in which people adopt kittens, and when they grow up the original owners no longer want them and end up “tossing them aside.”Instead of abandoning the animal, the former owners could try to find them a loving home, or take them to an animal shelter.  Another instance regarding animal neglect may be when  people just cannot financially support an animal they once welcomed into their home. There are also multiple instances in the county of hoarding in which people may think they are helping the animals in the situation, but in actuality it is harming them. In order to help prevent animal abuse, the county works with the SPCA in which animal cruelty officers will go investigate situations that have people have reported for incidents of cruelty. People in the community could also donate money or items such as  paper towels, blankets, bleach, or dish soap to the SPCA to help them out.

    Animal abuse is a worldly issue that has not been completely solved yet, as animals are still being maltreated everyday. In some countries, animal abuse is significantly worse, while in contrast other countries are handling it a lot better than most. Perhaps with the right precautions such as implementing new laws or enforcing already in place laws, the world could be one step closer to combating animal abuse.


13 Countries That Are Living Hell For Animals-

10 Countries that are most cruel to animals by Kai Tags-

Animal Laws Around the World by Elizabeth Holsing-

4 of the Best Places For Animals by Visala Kantamneni-

Animal Cruelty Facts and Stats-

America’s Animal Abuse Problem by Petfinder-

An animal is abused every 10 seconds in this country by Cathy M. Rosenthal-

SPCA Serving Allegany County: Donate-



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