I have something to say about animal abuse.

I sat over my blank document for a while trying to figure out how to start to address such a thing as animal abuse, but I guess I will start you with some facts.

1. The most commonly abused animals are dogs, cats, horses, and livestock.

This can be a shock to some because usually the only animals that are associated with animal abuse are dogs and cats, but there are so many cases reported every year that prove this social assumption wrong. Statistically, dogs are the most abused animal, followed by “other animals” — any animal besides a cat — and then cats follow close behind.

2. A large portion of animal abuse is considered “organized.”

This is so sickening to me. A large amount of animal abuse is organized crime. Organized crime (pertaining to animal abuse) includes things such as dogfighting and cockfighting. If you don’t know what either of these things are, they’re events organized to where dogs or roosters are trained to be mean and vicious and then pitted against each other in battle. The only way for there to be a victor is when one of the animals is dead. A lot of the time these animals are so far gone that when and if they’re rescued there is little that can be done for them.

It was very hard for me to figure out a way to both effectively inform you grrls on such a topic but, at the same time, help you feel like you can make a change. With the help of the ASPCA website, here are a few tips on how to recognize an abused animal.

Physical Signs:

-“Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck

-Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated

-Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes

-Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible

-Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites

-Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes

-Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat

-Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally

-Heavy discharge from eyes or nose

-An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal

-Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness” (ASPCA: How to Recognize Cruelty).

Environmental Signs:

-“Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary

-Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter

-Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them

-Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals” (ASPCA: How to Recognize Cruelty).

Grrls, I encourage you to never be afraid to report animal abuse if you suspect it. Do not fear that you are accusing an innocent person. If you suspect that something is wrong, chances are there is something wrong. I, personally, have reported animal abuse before on a gut instinct. I ended up being very glad I did because my small whim turned out to be completely correct. If it so happens that you are wrong, it doesn’t matter because it was all in the animal’s best interest. Besides, if you had suspected, hadn’t reported, and then something ended up being wrong, you would feel worse than if you reported something falsely.

I also encourage you to volunteer at or donate to your local animal shelter. These businesses are almost always non-profit and thrive mostly off of donations and volunteers. They can’t do what they do without your help of some kind.

I don’t mean for this to be a downer, but this is such a serious issue. Always keep your eyes open and remember that if you feel in your gut that something is wrong, chances are there is.

Do it for the animals grrls.

If we don’t stand up for them, no one will. 🙂