April is Animal Abuse Prevention Month. Many reported cases of animal abuse and cruelty involve animals suffering from starvation, physical abuse and some being left to fend for themselves to deal with injury or illness. Whenever these unloved animals are cared for by the Humane Society of Imperial County through Animal Control, the shelter then takes responsibility for ensuring they receive the medical care they need through a few veterinarians. different.
After some much needed TLC, these rehabilitated orphan pets are then made available for adoption and are sometimes sent to our rescue groups where they are placed with loving families.
The vast majority of abandoned animals entrusted to us are puppies, kittens and seriously ill or injured animals. These are often found by drivers and find boxes or they see something crawling on the ground by the side of the road, and sometimes they are left in front of people’s houses. More often than not these animals don’t even get a fair chance and are dumped somewhere in the desert to fend for themselves and have to suffer a slow and painful death.
There have been cases where help came too late for these poor animals, and they could not be saved due to the serious deterioration of their health. Pet abandonment is often a last minute attempt by pet owners to completely neglect their responsibility as pet owners. As mentioned in several previous columns, there is a simple way to deal with unwanted animals – neuter and neuter. Spaying and neutering pets ensures that unwanted litters are not born and that pet owners do not acquire any unwanted financial liabilities associated with having multiple pets. There are certain illnesses and abnormal health conditions that can be easily and completely avoided simply by having pets spayed and neutered.
The Humane Society staff and volunteers cannot stress enough the importance of having pets regularly seen by a family veterinarian. Having pets seen regularly will ensure that they remain strong and healthy and if there are any health issues they will be addressed as soon as possible and eliminate any unnecessary pain and suffering. It is inhumane to force a sick or injured animal to deal with these problems on its own without any medical care, especially when it is clear that it needs it.
Leaving sick or injured animals without medical care is considered animal neglect, or abuse, and is against the law. We all know that the Imperial Valley is currently suffering from a severe shortage of vets, but there are options. There are vets in Indio, Palm Springs, Yuma, Alpine, San Diego, and across the border in Mexicali.
Under Penal Code 597 of the California Animal Law Handbook, it is clearly stated that all animal abuse, neglect, abandonment, and animal fighting (cock and dog fighting) are illegal and punishable by law. Depending on the severity of the crime, the perpetrator may be subject to heavy fines and/or imprisonment.
It is horrifying to know that animal abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and other violent crimes go hand in hand.
According to the National District Attorneys Association, “The link between violence against people and violence against animals is well documented by research, both nationally and internationally. In its simplest form, animal abuse is a predictor that the abuser may become violent towards people, and vice versa. Abuse is abuse, regardless of the form or who is the victim.
In homes where all forms of abuse (human and animal) occur, if the home is left unattended, it is likely to increase violence. Research also shows us that animal abuse and cruelty is the first sign of serious disturbances in some individuals that can lead to serial killings and mass murders.
As a community, it is our responsibility to respect and protect animals. We urge everyone in the community to keep their ears and eyes open and to remain vigilant. It is important to ensure that all illegal or suspicious activities are reported to the authorities (animal control or police department) as soon as they are known. Gathering evidence via photos and videos is always very helpful in reporting any kind of abuse cases. Unfortunately the Humane Society of Imperial County has no legal authority over these matters as we are not an SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) but we are always happy to refer people to the right direction.
There is absolutely no excuse for anyone intentionally injuring an animal for any reason. There’s a saying that goes, “You don’t have to like them, but don’t hurt them.” Whether it is animal or human abuse or neglect, as a community it is our responsibility to respect and protect all living things. Holding offenders accountable for their actions not only saves the lives of innocent animals and people, but also keeps our community safe as a whole.
Local Animal Control Agencies
Brawley, (760) 344-5800, ext. ten
Calexico, (760) 768-1861 or (442) 200-7366
Calipatria, (760) 351-7766
El Centro, (760) 352-2113, ext. 0
Holtville, (760) 356-2912
Imperial, (760) 355-4327 or (760) 355-1158
Westmorland, (760) 344-3411
Imperial County, (442) 265-2655, ext. 0*
* County Services Heber, Seeley, Niland, Ocotillo, Salton City, Bombay Beach, Palo Verde, Winterhaven and all unincorporated areas of each city.