Pet Abuse | What you should know - The Vet Care - Complete Online Veterinarian

Pet Abuse | What you should know

What is Pet Abuse
Pet abuse is the causing of an animal deliberate suffering  either by physical violence, mental torture or by organized fighting.
Physical violence doesn't involve only abuse towards pets, it is disturbing and anti-social, moreover it is illegal and can have a severe effect on child development.
Research in America has shown that violent criminals frequently have a history of serious pet abuse from childhood.

Why pet abuse is common today
1. Cases of non accidental injury (NAI) of animals are not reported because non accidental injuries are not recognized.
2. Veterinary surgeons are fearful of reporting suspicious cases as it might compromise the safety of the victims.
3. Veterinary surgeons fear for their personal safety.
4. Victims of abuse are fearful of losing pets that have become their emotional support.
5. Abused family members are frightened on initiating further abuses on themselves, their children or pets.

Signs of pet abuse
Its not always easy to recognize non accidental injuries but there are some distinct characteristics that indicate abuse. Often, the types of injuries present in pet abuse are  also similar to those described in cases of child abuse such as finger tip bruising, lash marks, cigarette burns.
Broken ribs appear to be a regular feature of abuse in animals and suspicion is aroused particularly when the history is inconsistent with the type an extent of injury.
Other features include retinal and scleral hemorrhage, sub-dural hematomas and buccal trauma. Repetitive injury has be proved to be an example on non-accidental injury.
A broken femur may not arouse suspicion on the first occasion but when an animal is presented with the same injury two or more times, then it can be fairly said that the injury wasn't accidental.
Multiple occurrence of the same injury but yo different animals within and household should be a cause of alarm and of concern too.
Some pet owners have reported that children had dropped their animals lay their pet too close to a fire or the pet had falls, one veterinary surgeon remarked, "cats don't fall downstairs". Another respondent described how the injuries of a cat were consistent with those that might be  sustained in a road traffic accident, but during further consultation the respondent discovered that the cat wasn't allowed outside. This can be considered as a suspect when it changes in tellings by different people.
The behaviour of both pet owners and their pets are often indication of foul play.
The pet may be excessively fearful or submissive in the presence of its owner or it may appear to be dull and depressed.
The owner may show embarrassments and be reluctant to give reasons for such acts when questioned or being defensive and  become angry and aggressive when questioned. Some pet owners will name the penetrator and a few will admit to causing harm to the pet themselves.

Suggestions to curb pet abuse
Presently, a law should be introduced to make it mandatory for vets to report severe cases of suspected pet abuse without compromising their own position but a reasonable solution would be the formation of a coordinating body to which details of cases could be reported.
Thus, this information may corroborate reports from the police and social services and investigation should be made.
Steps to protect the victims of pet abuse in form of a support groups must be encouraged to help foster and provide care for the pets of women and children who have been moved to safe houses.
Animal support groups such as "paws for kid" etc should enable owners to remain responsible for their pets and be reunited once they are in suitable accommodation and can ensure their own safety.
Everyone should have a sense of urgency and responsibility to report any case of pet abuse to the nearest animal control unit in other to promote the health of animals.
Government should educate people who wish to adopt pets on pet abuse and ways to care for their pets to avoid abuse.
Pet Abuse | What you should know Pet Abuse | What you should know Reviewed by The Vet Care on September 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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