Pet Connections, Inc

Dedicated to animal rescue & rehabilitation, Old Lyme, CT


Top 10 things you can do to prevent animal cruelty:

  1. Be aware. We would not know about most instances of animal abuse without your phone calls. It all begins with YOU. That's why it's so important to keep your eyes and ears open. Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By being aware, you're more likely to notice changes or situations, for example, the dog next door who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly--a possible indicator of abuse.
  2. Learn to recognize animal cruelty. Here are some signs and symptoms we see in many of the cases we investigate:
    • Tick or flea infestations. Such a condition, if left untreated by a veterinarian, can lead to an animal's death.
    • Wounds on the body.
    • Patches of missing hair.
    • Extremely thin, starving animals.
    • Limping.
    • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal.
    • Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.
    • Dogs that have been hit by cars and have not been taken to a veterinarian.
    • Dogs kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.
    • Animals who either cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.
  3. Know whom to call to report animal cruelty. The responsibility does fall to the police department, but very few officers know the laws. LEARN THE LAW AND SHARE IT WITH THE POLICE. If you aren't sure where to report cruelty, you can search the Humane Law Enforcement directory online or ask your local police or sheriff's department.
  4. Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting the investigating officer. Write down the type of cruelty that you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.
  5. Call or write your local law enforcement department. Tell them investigating animal cruelty should be a priority. Animal cruelty is a CRIME--and the police MUST investigate these crimes.
  6. Know your state's animal cruelty laws. Laws vary from state to state, and even from city to city. You can visit the ASPCA's website and get a wallet-sized printout with outlines of the animal welfare laws in all 50 states.
  7. You can fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws on federal, state and local levels by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade. It's frustrating when I have built a strong case against someone who has been arrested for cruelty to animals and the judge treats it like a simple violation. Stronger laws will result in tougher penalties.
  8. Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. It's more than just food, water, and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring him/her to the veterinarian. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. I always give my own pets lots of hugs when I get home!
  9. Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. I regularly see children in homes where animal abuse has been reported. If a parent isn't treating the family's pets right, I tell kids their dog or cat would really like fresh water every day. Spend some time playing with them. Help children realize animals are living creatures who have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness. You can see these emotions on the faces of animals.
  10. Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization. Volunteer at an animal shelter. It's a great way to make a difference. Some of our volunteers foster animals who have been abused in their former homes, giving these dogs and cats the chance they deserve to have a good life.

GorillaDogs is an organization dedicated to encouraging the enforcement of existing animal cruelty statutes through humane education and advocacy while providing support and assistance to victims of animal abuse in Austin, Texas and Travis County.