Help stop animal abuse

Keyanna Richardson, guest columnist

I feel very passionate about this topic because I want to be a veterinarian and animals are very important to me.

Animal cruelty is when someone hurts an animal or does not care for an animal responsibly. It’s against the law to harm animals like your own pets, but people still do it. It’s happening all around us and we’re doing nothing about it.

Animal abuse is increasing each year. Abandonment is one example of animal abuse. Every year 6 million dogs and cats are abandoned and end up in shelters, and about 2 or 3 million of those animals have to be euthanized. Why are there so many dogs and cats in the shelter? One reason is people can’t be responsible. We don’t get our pets spayed or neutered so they reproduce creating huge numbers. On top of that we buy our dogs and cats from breeders instead of adopting one of those poor neglected animals that is in the shelter already.

You can drive around Cedar Rapids and see dogs outside maybe on a leash in the backyard for long periods of time. What people don’t know is leaving a dog outside for a long period of time, having them on a leash outside instead of walking them, and keeping them in their cage constantly is neglect. Neglect is when you fail to take care of something. This is one of the main types of people who commit animal abuse — the people who don’t realize they are doing it.

I believe there are a lot of conflict and problems in our world. Animal abuse is definitely one of them. We can do something about this. Anyone can volunteer at a shelter and try to get these animals a home. Also you can also foster a pet which means you can keep one of the animals until someone wants to adopt them. Another thing that can help is donating money to animal hospitals. The most important thing to do is if you’re looking for a pet you should go to the animal shelter and adopt one from there.

Our pets are like family to us so shouldn’t we take care of them like we take care of our family and friends. I hope more people will treat their pets better after reading this and hopefully adopt from shelters.

• Keyanna Richardson is 14 years old.

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