Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Daily I view horrific pictures of abused animals who were lucky enough to be rescued, on various web sites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc.  I also read the numerous appalling histories that accompany those images and daily my blood boils in rage.  However, being upset or outraged will not change anything unless action is borne.  Last week’s article covered recognizing animal abuse, the important first action for us to take.  This week will feature what other actions you can generate to help abused animals.

Once you notice signs of abuse or neglect, it is vital to the animal’s welfare that you report it immediately to the local authorities.  In the city limits of Red Bluff, call the Red Bluff Police Department (530-527-3131).  In the city limits of Corning, call the Corning Police Department (530-824-7000).  Anywhere in Tehama County other than the above locations, call the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office (530-529-7900 ext. 1).

Provide as much information as you possibly can when reporting abusive situations.  Any details provided can go a long way towards assisting investigating officers.  Be sure to write down a factual statement of what you witnessed, who was involved, the date(s) and time(s) of the incident(s), and where the abuse occurred.  Videos and photographs can also help.  If there are others who have also witnessed the incident(s), be sure to provide their names.  Please, do not be hesitant about standing up for those who cannot speak.  Abused animals have no chance for survival unless we do the right thing.

If you do not receive a response within a reasonable period, do not hesitate to contact a supervisor.  If you are still not getting an appropriate response, contact the Tehama County District Attorney’s office ((530) 527-3053), or your local government representative, or, if all else fails, the media.  Animal cruelty is a heinous crime.  In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has classified animal cruelty (like arson, burglary, kidnapping, and homicide) a Group A felony.  If a crime is committed against an animal under the new classification, it will be considered a “crime against society”.  If we truly wish to create a safer community, it is imperative that our local law enforcement and prosecutors also take animal cruelty seriously.

Children are our hope for the future and it is through us that they learn how to treat animals with compassion and kindness.  By being strong role models, whether we are guardians, relatives, friends, or people of authority, children will mimic and practice the same acts of charity, care, and respect to animals that we display.  If we truly desire to lessen the cruelty inflicted upon animals, we must start with the children.

Advocate for improved anti-cruelty laws and legislation fostering kindness to animals on federal, state, and local levels.  Our laws must allow animal control officers, prosecutors, and judges to expediently and effectively pursue and prosecute cruelty and abuse issues.  If we are not satisfied that animals are designated as property, then work towards a change.  Legislatures and courts will only recognize their obligation to protect animals if society fervently demands that they do so.  Margaret Mead stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Become a concerned committed citizen.

Support local shelters and rescue organizations.  These are the people in the trenches, dealing with the aftermath of cruelty.  Most work with extremely limited finances and available resources.  Foster or adopt a homeless animal.  Volunteer your time and abilities.  There are many ways you can be of assistance.  Any one of these organizations would be happy to discuss their needs with you.  Donate supplies or money.  Both are often in short supply.  The bottom line is, the more resources these unsung heroes can acquire, the greater the assistance they can provide to the many casualties of abuse.

We may wonder if we, as individuals, have any power to stop animal abuse.  I say that we do.  Significant, effective changes will not occur overnight.  However, each day we see a bit of progress occurring.  Each positive small act taken in the right direction brings us closer to our goal of ensuring that every animal is treated with the kindness and compassion it deserves.


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