April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
Preventing animal cruelty is an ongoing, all year round task for the SPCA - after all it is our namesake (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Still, April is extra special because it is a month internationally dedicated to raising awareness on Preventing Animal Cruelty. In addition, the SPCA is committed to breaking the cycle of animal abuse through education and prevention.
Preventing animal cruelty is no easy task, but we can make great strides together. You can contribute by Understanding the signs of animal cruelty, Knowing animal protection laws, and Advocating for the rights of animals. Animal cruelty can be categorized as active and passive. Active cruelty is inflicted with deliberate intent to harm an animal, creating immediate pain and suffering, and passive cruelty is harm inflicted via willful or unknowing neglect creating prolonged suffering.
Some examples of animal cruelty
1) Neglect. Animal neglect happens in many forms such as; dehydration, malnutrition; infestation with parasites (external and internal); inadequate shelter (in extreme winter and summer conditions); chaining a dog to a tree, allowing the collar to grow into its skin; and failure to seek veterinary care when necessary.
2) Abandoning your pet. Dumping a pet is the worst case of abandonment. The animals are left confused and even injured. Animal abandonment means leaving an animal behind that is no longer wanted or letting an animal get abandoned where it might get harmed. This is a result of a major problem that is not only in Namibia, it’s a problem all around the world.
Prevent a Litter - It's good for you and your pet
Spayed and neutered pets are better, more affectionate, companions. Spaying a female dog or cat eliminates its heat cycle, which can last twenty-one days, twice a year, in dogs, and anywhere from three to fifteen days. Females cats in heat often cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male cats.
Not only that, research shows reproductive diseases can affect both female and male cats and dogs. Spaying prevents uterine infections, ovarian cancers and mammary tumors in female cats and dogs, while neutering prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems in males. The surgeries also reduce a male cat's urge to roam and if done soon enough in his life, may eliminate his urge to spray to mark territory.
Spaying your pet ensures you don't sit with one litter too many due to you having more pets than you can care for, and it puts a stop to the endless cycle of unwanted puppies and kittens who end up abandoned or in shelters.
A not so fun fact on Black Cats It is widely believed that black cats are at a higher risk of abuse than other cats. Black cats also find it harder to be adopted from shelters than other cats; this is most likely due to the long history of linking black cats to bad luck. Black cats do not bring bad or good luck to owners unless you count the good luck of having a sweet, loving, furry best friend.
Stories of neglect, abandonment, and cruelty Conrad is a 1 year old male dog, he is friendly and easy going. Conrad came into the shelter as a skinny stray and we suspect he was abandoned, but an owner never came worth. As of mid-April, Conrad has spent 77 days at the shelter and is ready to find a furrever pawfect home. See below for before and after photos of Conrad.
Lala enjoys laying down as seen in her 2 images. This playful easy going girl gets along well with humans and other dogs alike. She was skinny when she first came in and not quite sure of her surroundings. See below for before and after photos of Lala.
Jacque is a senior dog, looking for his Pawfect home. He is a dog with a coat is what is considered 'high maintenance' - he needs daily brushing and regular grooming as his coat gros long and tangles easily. Did you know grooming your long haired dog is a very important task as it maintains the health and cleanliness of your dog's coat? It also helps ward off potential health problems by keeping your dog free of debris and dirt that can lead to infections, irritations, and allergic reactions. See below for a photo after Jacques grooming session through the SPCA.
And lastly, Bellatrix had spent 126 days at the shelter. She is an example of so many female cats that come to the SPCA with unwanted litters of kittens. All of her kittens found homes through the SPCA, and eventually it was her very own turn to meet her perfect match.
Speaking for the voiceless or listen to those who cannot talk
Speaking up for animals in times of injustice makes a real difference in the lives of animals, and educating about animal welfare, the humane and compassionate treatment of animals as sentient beings, is one step of many to ensure animals in the future never have to endure the suffering that comes with animal cruelty, willful or not.