April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
Of course it was also Red Cross Month, Reading Month and a slew of others.
Here's hoping the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals works harder to promote April as Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.
So far 17 buildings nationwide will be illuminated orange Tuesday to increase awareness. I'm sorry to report none so far in Ohio -- no ASPCA grassroots events, either.
For those of us observing the month from home, the ASPCA has started a Go Orange Photo Contest (despite the fact that some believe dressing animals in clothing to be its own form of cruelty).
The Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio encourages Cleveland-area residents to report the following signs of pet abuse or neglect to the Animal Protective League's cruelty hotline at 216-377-1630 or their local police departments:
• Embedded collarsAnyone thinking these might be excusable, take note: What you're seeing may be a disregard for life, not just animals. A recent study by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence found 85.4 percent of women and 63 percent of children reported incidents of pet abuse after arriving at domestic violence shelters.
• Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or ongoing injury
• Flea, tick or other infestations
• Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
• Inadequate food or water
• Outside in inclement weather without adequate shelter
I personally urge teachers to "go orange" in your classrooms. The ASPCA provides some fun and creative ideas here and here. Kids eat this stuff up, and it's never too early to teach compassion.
-- Sandra M. Klepach, SKlepach@News-Herald.com