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Stop animal abuse before it becomes people abuse

September 21, 2012
Editorial by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Publisher Catherine Moore, Managing Editor Peter Crowley

A horrific article regarding cruelty to puppies ran in the Albany Times Union last week. While we read or hear about such events more often than we want, it can become worse and more frequent if action isn't taken.

Animal cruelty can include a host of harmful behaviors: from the neglect of depriving an animal of food, water or shelter, to killing, torturing or mutilation. Most humans have caring souls and are repulsed by the idea of inflicting any harm on innocent animals, but some sadistic people are void of conscience or empathetic feelings, and suffer serious psychological problems.

Speaking up to help the innocent animals that can't speak is not just for their safety and well-being, but also for that of humans. Studies in psychology, criminology and sociology have revealed that violent offenders, such as serial killers, engaged in animal cruelty and torture as children and adolescents. Such behavior has been typically seen more in boys than girls, and as young as 4 years of age.

By identifying, intervening with and educating those with violent tendencies, we might be able to stop a lifetime pattern of such behavior against humans and animals. Many times children who are abused won't talk about their own abuse, but perhaps they will talk about abuse of a pet. Those who deliberately harm animals may also be involved in vandalism, bullying and other, more serious crimes.

What can you do to stop the abuse?

If, as a parent, you see signs of your child mistreating your family pet, intervene and explain that the animal feels pain like they do and that they need to respect and give them gentle care because they are part of your loving family.

Police officers, district attorneys and judges, we ask that you uphold justice by giving substantial attention and punishment to offenders, within the limits of the law. It's possible that giving the maximum sentence could discourage animal abusers from becoming violent abusers or even killers of people in the future.

Educators should try to recognize the children who are known to deliberately abuse animals. Discuss your suspicion with school staff members such as a principal, psychologist or law officer.

As a neighbor or bystander, you have an obligation to report animal abuse to police or the Tri-Lakes Humane Society. If you witness or suspect that abuse has taken place, please call and report it.

We also would like you to take this opportunity to support this Saturday's Tri-Lakes Humane Society "Fall Pawtay" event at 5:30 p.m. Call 518-891-0197 if you would like to attend. If you can't attend but wish to support the Humane Society anyway, there are 50/50 raffle tickets available at the Enterprise office.


Important phone #s


To report an emergency animal abuse situation, call 911. If it's not an emergency but still worth reporting, call one of the following:

-Tri-Lakes Humane Society, 518-891-0197

-New York State Police, 518-897-2000

-Saranac Lake Police Department, 518-891-4422

-Tupper Lake Police Department, 518-359-3776

-Lake Placid Police Department, 518-523-3306



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