Last year about fifty American police dogs died of heat exhaustion from being locked in hot cars. This is why we need to remember to recognize April as National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. As hard as it is to stomach, we need to think about how we treat our fellow creatures. Opposable thumbs and thinking about abstract concepts may separate us from animals, but these facts do not justify cruelty toward our four-legged friends. It’s our responsibility to speak about the injustices we see for those who do not have a voice. Humans are capable of great destruction, but we are also capable of great good. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month is about recognizing our potential for both and doing something proactive.
When is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month 2023?
The month of April is dedicated to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because being cruel to animals is an unjustifiable act that shouldn’t exist in any civilized society.
History of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
We may think that animals are dependent on us but, let’s face it, humans are also highly dependent on animals. Our furry friends support us with unconditional companionship and bring joy to our lives. Our pets capture our hearts and become part of our families.
Unfortunately, animal cruelty is still widespread and common, and no matter how much a society progresses, if animal abuse and cruelty are prevalent in it, it can still be considered savage and primitive. For this reason, rather than one single day, an entire month is dedicated to the elimination of animal cruelty and creating awareness for it. Animal abuse is around us, in every community we live in. That cat lady, who you think is doing a good job of keeping cats off the streets, may actually be a hoarder and neglecting the animals. Many celebrities are also passionate about the cause and use their platforms for the promotion of animal rights and welfare.
The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) started the observance of this month-long campaign in 2006. It takes place annually and has become a nationwide celebration of the protection of animals.
In 1863, during his travels to Russia, New York-based Henry Bergh stopped a man from beating his fallen horse. It was a pivotal moment for Bergh because it was then and there that he realized how this one act could be a catalyst for change in the world. Upon his return to New York, he devoted his time to the prevention of cruelty to animals. He founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866.
It was a time in America when animals weren’t respected at all — horses were the primary modes of transportation and were used to carry large loads through streets, dogs were kidnapped and held for ransom, cockfighting was a common form of entertainment, and the list goes on. This did not deter Bergh — he became more determined than ever to create a safe haven for animals and fight for policy changes to promote kind treatment towards animals.
The ASPCA’s logo was drawn and presented by Frank Leslie in 1867. The seal shows an angel taking pity on a fallen cart horse and protecting it against an abuser. The ASPCA diversified its work, improving animal rescue efforts as well as advocating for compassion. By the 2000s, the ASPCA had become a leader in helping animals during natural disasters and animal cruelty cases. Following the destructive Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the ASPCA assisted in rescuing animals and nursing them back to health.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month timeline
During the Middle Ages, many superstitious Europeans routinely burn cats alive, believing they are common witch familiars and associated with the Devil.
When Emperor Titus opens the Colosseum to the Roman public, over 5,000 beasts are slaughtered to commemorate the occasion, heralding centuries of killing for entertainment.
Massachusetts Bay Colony's Body of Liberties establishes the first laws in America disavowing animal abuse.
Lord Thomas Erskine addresses British Parliament concerning animal abuse, becoming the first person to mention the issue in front of a legislative court.
The Orca, in its distress, is killed in its frantic attempts to escape.
By the Numbers
Every 60 seconds – the frequency of animal abuse in the world.
65% – the percentage of all abused animals that are dogs.
10 million – the number of animals who die each year in the U.S. from abuse alone.
847 – the number of drug positive racing greyhounds found in Florida between 2007 and 2017.
100,000 – the number of horses that are killed in the U.S. and processed for human consumption.
250,000 – the average number of animals who are victims of hoarding by their owners every year.
10,000 – the number of puppy mills in the United States.
⅓ – the number of parrot species on the verge of extinction due to the exotic bird trade.
115 million – the number of animals used for lab experiments around the world.
97% – the number of animals killed and tortured every year that are farm animals.
How to Observe Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
Buy cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef
We won’t ask you to give up omelets and burgers, but buying cruelty-free products helps endorse companies that make an effort to treat their animas with respect. Plus, these products are much better for you and less packed with dyes and artificial growth hormones.
Adopt pets from a local rescue center
Adoption is better than resorting to get your pet from a puppy mill or breeders who encourage unhealthy incestuous couplings to get an animal with the desired breed-qualities. Mutts typically live longer than purebreds and have less health issues too.
Volunteer at an animal shelter
Almost half the animals put in shelters around the country are put down every year. Shelters can only do so much to help with the limited funds they have, and lack of room often forces them to euthanize animals to make way for more adoptable breeds.
5 Alarming Facts About Animal Abuse
Cycle of abuse
Studies show that animal abuse is higher in families with cases of child abuse.
Passive and active abuse
Passive cruelty mostly involves animal neglect, whereas active cruelty involves causing intentional harm to an animal.
3 million animals are killed in the U.S. alone every year for their fur.
Death by selfie
Caged sloths die within 6 months of captivity due to the unsettling and disturbing ‘wildlife selfies’ and public demand for entertainment by tourists.
Hoarding pets leads to victimization
It may seem like a person with many pets is doing a good thing but, quite often, it may be a hoarding disorder that leads to a serious neglect of animals.
Why Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month is Important
Beauty products aren't worth it
Millions of animals are still utilized to test medication and makeup every year; the damage of the experimentation causes their skin to warp with sores and chemical burns. Don't try to convince yourself it's just rats and gross rodents—it's "cute" animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits too.
Cruelty to animals endorses violent behavior
Often animal abuse is an indicator of potential harm being directed toward humans—sometimes it's even a precursor. The FBI has revealed overwhelming evidence and research to this effect. One of the easiest ways to identify a serial killer is too look in their back ground and see if they have a history of mutilating or killing animals. Young Jeffrey Dammer killed neighborhood animals for fun.
Information saves lives
Many pet owners aren’t aware they are endangering the lives of their furry/scaly/feathered companions. Thousands of dogs die in hot cars every year. An awareness of how to protect your pets would prevent this travesty.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month dates