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Animal Abuse: Recognizing The Signs And Doing Your Part To Help Stop It

Published on June 6, 2013 by in Pet Safety

By Amber Keiper

When I first heard the story of Sunshine the black Labrador retriever from Northern California that workers Barf - lab 6-6believed came from an abusive home, my heart just broke for her.

As a “mom” of two rescued pets, I felt that I just had to find out more about animal abuse in the United States and find a way to be able to do something to help stop it.

Statistics of Animal Abuse

After a friend’s cat was tortured and set aflame by what authorities believed to be a serial cat killer, Alison Gianotto started the website, Pet-Abuse.com as a way to raise public awareness about animal cruelty and offer guidance to individuals on how to report these crimes. This website also provides statistical information and a searchable database of animal cruelty cases in the US.

According to Pet-Abuse.com, the top 5 types of animal abuse are:Barf- graph 6-6
Neglect and/or abandonment
Animal hoarding
Fighting (i.e. cock fighting, dog fighting)

For those of us who cherish our pets and treat them like one of the family, it is unfathomable to think that someone would want to purposely harm an animal. Yet over the last ten years, there have been over 14,000 cases of animal cruelty reported across the country with 592 of those incidents occurring in 2012 alone (see map below).

Barf - map 6-6

In 2012 alone, there were a total of 592 reported instances of animal cruelty in the United States. The 47 areas highlighted in red involve cases where the alleged abuser either had a history of violence or involved a domestic dispute. (Map provided by www.pet-abuse.com.)

Telltale Signs of Animal Abuse

The first thing you can do to help stop animal abuse is to be able to recognize the signs. The ASPCA defines animal cruelty as “someone who intentionally injures or harms an animal or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water or necessary medical care.”

barf box 6-6

How to Report Animal Abuse

If you suspect that an animal is being mistreated, don’t be afraid to report it to the police or contact the local animal shelter for guidance. You may just help save an animal’s life!

The ASPCA website also offers 10 Tips for Reporting Animal Cruelty which can help point you in the right direction.

Helping Animals Who’ve Suffered From Abuse

For many animals that have endured repeated acts of abuse and mistreatment, certain situations can trigger anxiety and stress. Flower essences have been known to help treat pets that have been abused or suffered other trauma. Rescue Remedy is a well-known, natural stress relief spray that uses a unique blend of flower essences to help reduce stress in people and pets without the use of harsh chemicals or medication treatments.

Reiki therapy is another form of non-invasive treatment that has been known to help pets overcome emotional issues due to abuse and neglect. In fact, some animal shelters have begun using Reiki as a way to help ease stress in the animals in their facilities. There is a great organization called SARA – the Shelter Animal Reiki Association –that offers animal Reiki treatment and training in shelters around the world.


Amber pixAmber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc.. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud “BARF brats” – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.

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One Response

  1. Please do something about preventing animal abuse over the U.S.

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