Why is it that in our society, when abuse occurs, the first thought that comes to mind is “What did the victim do to deserve it?” In the case of rape, we ask what was the woman wearing? In the case of child abuse, what did the child do to push the adult to that extreme action? The playground or workplace bully hands out his abuse because his victims are weak or “different.” Right?
How ridiculous is this mentality? Isn’t the abuser the problem? Such is the case with animal abuse and neglect. Every citizen needs to understand animal abuse is not an animal problem, It is a people problem. A person is behind both human and animal abuse and neglect.
The true cause behind an act of violence or neglect won’t just go away. In fact, unaddressed, such a desire to act violently will intensify. It is documented that more than 70 percent of the time, an animal abuser will go on to commit acts of human violence and/or commit crimes against property.
The media reported that in Columbiana County, in 2012 alone, a young defenseless calf was set on fire and a chained beagle beaten to death by a human. Near Salineville a dog was hanged from a tree and two more dogs shot in the face and dumped.
What does this say about your community? Is your pet or property next? The media did not report hundreds of other cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment addressed by The Humane Society of Columbiana County in 2012, including starved and emaciated horses and the dog abused during a domestic violence dispute or the cat rescued by a boy in spite of an adult’s order not to. But HSCC knows about them thanks to concerned citizens who to made the decision to make the call.
The Humane Society of Columbiana County provides a service to your community by responding to more than 70 calls about irregular or concerning human behavior per month. As your local law enforcement responds to calls from citizens about crime against people, the trained and court sworn humane agents respond to concerns about actions toward animals.
Calls of concern about pets in East Liverpool top the list, followed by Salem, Lisbon, Columbiana and every single community in our county.
Does this service provided by HSCC have value to you? If so, then you need to donate and support this local non-profit organization, which advocates for not only animals but for other victims of abuse. Contrary to popular belief, HSCC is not a county agency and does not receive any taxpayer or governmental funding.
Please share this information. Our greatness as a community will increase as our tolerance of violence decreases. To find out more about the link between animal abuse and human abuse, or to arrange a speaker for your group or organization, or to report abuse, contact HSCC at 330-332-2600.
(The author is president of the Humane Society of Columbiana County.)