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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 7:04 am | Fair 42º


John Daly


John Daly: Fighting for the Voiceless, Including Animals

Over the past several columns, I’ve been writing about compassion for others. That needs to extend to the animal world.

For those of you who know me personally, it is clear how much my bull mastiff, Cooper, means to my wife and me. That’s why I read with great interest a recent Noozhawk article by reporter Gina Potthoff. 

The sad abuse that animals suffer at the hands of “seemingly intelligent” human beings is appalling. It feeds back in to the thoughtless, often cruel, even evil, behavior of some of my fellow man. It is unacceptable and has to be stopped.

Harder punishment for animal abusers is a step in the right direction. Davey’s Law, Davey Alerts and an Animal Abuser database will go a long way to help prevent further abuse. With those tools, people like you and me can play a bigger part in stopping the abuse.

But, what can we do? First, click here to read more about the Davey’s Law effort.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), here’s how you can help:

Know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. Look for the following signs and symptoms in your neighborhood:

» Tick or flea infestations. If left untreated by a vet, this can lead to an animal’s death.

» Wounds on the body.

» Patches of missing hair.

» Extremely thin, starving animals.

» Limping.

» An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal.

» Dogs that repeatedly are left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.

» Dogs that have been hit by cars-or are showing any of the signs listed above-and have not been taken to a vet.

» Dogs that are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.

» Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.

If you detect any of this, here’s what you should do.

» Know who to call to report animal cruelty. Every state and every town are different. Click here to make an anonymous tip with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department or talk to the Santa Barbara Animal Rescue for advice. And support their efforts with a donation. Act. Don’t just shake your head and feel sorry for the animal.

» Provide as much information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.

» Contact your local law enforcement department and let them know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority. Animal cruelty is a CRIME — and the police MUST investigate these crimes.

» Fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws. Start with Davey’s Law and go from there.

» Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. But it’s more than just food, water and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring it to the vet. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. And give your pets lots of hugs!

» Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. The ASPCA regularly sees children in homes where animal abuse has been reported. If a parent isn’t treating the family’s pets right, the ASPCA tells the kids that their dog or cat would really appreciate fresh water every day or some daily playtime. If the animal has been left outside without shelter, they’ll say, ‘You have a nice house, and if you get cold, you can put a coat on. But your dog can’t do that.’ Children understand that animals are living creatures that have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness.

Compassion should extend to all living creatures. Don’t you agree?

— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for good manners and job search success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or to buy the book.  Follow John on Facebook and Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have an etiquette question? ASK John at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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