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Signs Of Animal Abuse Or Neglect And How You Can Help

Chances are good that if you’re reading this blog, you are a pet owner and animal lover who does not need advice on the proper way to show love and tenderness toward your precious pet. Unfortunately, many pets in the U.S. are not so fortunate. Animal abuse and neglect is a sad fact of life, and one that occurs in almost every community in the United States.

While it may seem like there is nothing you can do about animal abuse, this is not always the case. Being on the lookout for signs that animals you come across are being abused, and reporting that abuse, can make a significant impact in the fight against animal cruelty. Learn about the signs of abuse or neglect, and what you can do to stop it in your community.

Physical Signs Of Animal Abuse Or Neglect

The following bodily conditions are good indications that an animal is being treated badly and needs help:

  • Too-tight collar that has caused a wound or become embedded in the skin
  • Open wounds, multiple wounds, untreated illness or injury
  • Untreated skin conditions, loss of hair, fleas, ticks, or other parasites
  • Signs of poor grooming, such as extremely matted or dirty fur or overgrown nails
  • Weakness, limping, or inability to stand or walk normally
  • Emaciation or other signs of malnourishment
  • Witnessing an owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal

Environmental Signs Of Animal Abuse or Neglect

While not all abused animals show outward signs of abuse or neglect, their living conditions can often give us a clue as to how they are being treated:

  • Pets are chained or tied up outdoors for extended periods of time without adequate food or water
  • Animals are kept outside in cold or inclement weather without access to proper shelter
  • Pets’ living area is excessively dirty or dangerous, this may include a large buildup of feces, garbage, broken glass, or other dangerous and potentially harmful objects
  • Animals are kept in cages or kennels, often together with other animals, that are too small to allow for any natural movements, including standing and turning around

How You Can Help An Abused Or Neglected Animal

If you suspect an animal is being abused or neglected, please call the Cleveland Animal Protective League at (216) 377-1630 as well as our local police department.

It’s important to gather as much information as possible before submitting an animal cruelty report. Try to have any or all of the following materials ready:

  • Written statement of your observations, including dates and times if possible
  • Photographs of the animal or animals in question and of their location and/or surroundings
  • Names and contact information of anyone else who may have knowledge of the abuse situation if possible

When gathering your information, be very mindful to not put yourself in harm’s way, especially when attempting to take photographs. Don’t enter private property without permission and exercise extreme caution around unfamiliar animals.

At West Park Animal Hospital we are committed to battling animal abuse in Cleveland and throughout the United States. If you have any questions regarding the signs of animal cruelty, please give us a call.

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