Animal cruelty creates concerns and issues


Photo by Ava Biederman

At the Woodbury Humane Society, animals that need assistance when handing have an orange triangle sticker on their description sheets. Mars the cat has one. Some of the time, animals with this sticker have been abused in the past. It is a great way to show what kind of qualities these animals may have.

Animal cruelty has been an issue for years. Pet owners and animal lovers need to use resources to learn more and spread awareness to help.

Animal cruelty is split into two main categories: active cruelty and passive cruelty. Active cruelty involves physically harming an animal. This can often include hitting, kicking, branding, or harming an animal physically in any other way. Passive cruelty is neglect, including dehydration or starvation.

Animals need help because they are unable to stand up for themselves. As an animal, they are not able to talk or speak to communicate that they need help. Pet owners and animal lovers have a job to ensure animals are well taken care for and loved. Showing an animal love can go such a long way for the pet.

“You want to show that animal all the love that they give you because they are only in you life for a short amount of time but your in theirs their whole life,” junior Hailee Krumwiede said.

While pet owners may not have the same pet for their entire life, owners are in a pets for most, if not all of is life. Animals deserve a good happy life and they should be treated with such.

Once an animal has a trauma happen to like abuse, they tend to behave differently, just like a person would. Pets may put a guard up and become very protective of their space. There are all different behaviors that an animal may have, pets may have extreme aggression or become very timid and scared. Although if an animal is exhibiting these behaviors it does not necessary always mean abuse.

Krumwiede was once attacked by a dog when volunteering at the Humane Society. She was trying to clean his cage, and he latched onto her arm and would not let go. However, she understood his fear and actions because she went into his safe space. Many animals that undergo a traumatic incident like cruelty may show signs similar to this behavior.

There are some signs people can look for in animals that may need help. They can range from all sorts of issues. Not every animal that shows some of these signs means they were or currently are being abused.

“The most obvious signs of animal abuse might be injuries such as broken bones, unusual bruising, and head trauma. For a patient that may come in for injuries some of the more subtle signs might be a dog tethered in a backyard for an extended period of time,” veterinarian Melissa Haase said.  

Many people who abuse an animal tend to have a rough past. According to Petpediachildren who were sexually abused are five times more likely to inflict abuse on an animal. While children 10 years or older that abuse an animal, are two to three more times likely to have been abused in the past. However if someone was abused in anyway, that does not immediately mean they will abuse animals.

“I think a lot of it can boil down to learned behavior,”  senior Olivia Carter said. A lot of the time animal abusers had something happen that drove them to do this action.

There are different things that vets can do to help an animal in need. Depending on the situation, there are different things vets can do.

“If we had to report someone for animal abuse, we would contact the County Animal Control or the sheriff and so since I work in Ramsey County, we would either contact the sheriff or their animal control equivalent or police,” Haase explained. 

“As for dealing and treating with the patients. We try to treat them without judgment in the moment. Make sure that they get the best care and then if we feel that if the patient needs a welfare check, we could probably call the police and ask them to do a welfare check,” Haase said. 

Most animal abuse happens in rural areas. Owners may  treat barn cats or dogs like they should not. They still need care and to be taken into the veterinarians’. They are just as much of a pet as any other pet that lives in the house full time.

“A lot of people think a barn cat is just a barn cat. They’re not going to bring it in for care. Some of my colleagues in the southern part of the county, get animals dropped off on their doorstep frequently, and they’re thin and not well fed and have a lot of skin issues,” Haase explained.

Animal abuse is a continuous problem that has no solution as of now. Pet owners, animal lovers and vets need to work together to help bring a solution. People can use resources like the internet to bring awareness donate, and learn more.