Collar Check: Animal Abuse and Neglect

Very often, we talk about how human actions have affected wildlife. Encroachment in environments all around the world has taken away the homes of many animals and can lead to extinction. It is fairly easy to wrap our minds around this idea.

What about the animals in our backyards and in our homes?

According to the City of Boston, “setting tails on fire, putting rubber bands around limbs, choking, kicking, drowning, animal fighting – these are all definite forms of abuse.” Just as domestic abuse for people are kept behind closed doors, animal abuse can be hidden as well. Approximately 13% of animal abuse cases involve domestic violence.

Dog fighting has physical and psychological effects.

An obvious form of abuse is animal fighting. Animal fighting is an underground activity as it is illegal in Massachusetts and in 41 other states. Dogs are raised to fight each other for entertainment purposes, but the cost for the animals is too high. These dogs grow up extremely aggressive and have attack behaviors, tend to mask their emotions, and are often subjected to thick and heavy chains for collars and leashes. Furthermore, these dogs have excessive wounds and scars, also shown by mangled and torn ears.

Abuse is a conscious action. Neglect can be unconscious, but is just as harmful. It is more than forgetting to feed your pet. It can kill.

Something really disturbing that we came across this week is animal collars. But before we discuss this further, imagine this: you put a bracelet on at the young age of 5 and it fits like a glove. Two years later, it’s starting to feel a little tight, but you don’t do anything about it. 5 years later, you’re a teenager and the bracelet is still on. Except now the bracelet causes you serious pain, but it’s too late to take it off. Your wrist has grown around the bracelet and the doctors say that it needs to be surgically removed. Now imagine the same thing happening with a necklace and it is exposing your neck: the part of you that is essential for breathing and eating.

Leaving pets in cars is illegal and can kill an animal. Temperatures can rise up to 160 degrees in a matter of minutes, causing severe brain damage or death.

This is happening to dogs and cats. Owners who do not check collars regularly could be suffocating and killing their pets. Pictures of the effects of unchecked collars are extremely disturbing, so we have not posted any with this blog post.

So let’s do our part. Report cases of abuse to animal control in your town and check the collars on your pets.

For more information on animal abuse and neglect, check out the City of Boston Animal Control website.


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