All pet issues are important to us here, and April is animal cruelty prevention month. It is such a big issue, and most people really feel helpless in this situation or that the issue is much more than one person can fix. While that is true, there is most definitely a way for an individual to help.
Do you see your neighbor’s dog pinned to a corner in the backyard day in and day out? Have you ever observed a stranger kicking their pet outside? Maybe your neighborhood dog is miserably limping around with matted hair and sores due to lack of grooming. Do you see an owner starving their pet?
These are all signs of neglect. If there is a way for you to safely document this, please do so and record as many details as you can. Proof is what investigators need to be able to take action. You should take the information you have to your local animal control agency or humane center and allow them to investigate. While it seems heartless to not take action on your own, putting yourself in a situation where you are attempting to remove an animal from this environment is likely illegal and very likely unsafe.
Get to know the animals in your neighborhood. Observation over time often yields more information than a one-time view of the situation. Also, if you have children, teach them how to not only treat their peers, but also all animals with kindness and respect. Sometimes saying something like, “When you get cold, you have the option to put a jacket on. When your dog gets cold and you leave him outside, he doesn’t have the option to do that.” It gives them perspective. Also, setting a good example yourself is always a great way to lead.
Of course, we always support helping your local shelter and animal rescue. Sometimes you can make a difference in a formerly abused animal and give them a chance to live the life they so richly deserve.