April is National Prevent Cruelty to Animals Month.
Now, for some of us, that's actually every day, and I'm guessing that includes everyone reading this post. But I think it's a great idea to have a month devoted to reminding people that preventing cruelty is important and should be a priority every month.
Here at Almost Perfect Pets, we're all too aware that cruelty, including active abuse and passive neglect, creates special needs animals out of pets who were once whole and healthy. It's horrifying, it's inexcusable, but most of all…it's completely unnecessary.
As I type this, I have a purring ball of gray fur in my lap, my little Idgie who was born with anophthalmia. This is a condition in which kittens whose mothers were exposed to certain pathogens during pregnancy are born without eyes. (It's also not unheard of in human babies, about one in 100,000 of which are born without any optical tissue whatsoever.)
The point is, Idgie was born without eyes. No one took them from her through an act of cruelty. But there are so many other kitties, puppies and other critters who have physical damage caused by other critters in unfortunate situations. Many of these come about through the neglect of their owners, who either don't know not to allow certain animals to be alone together because they don't get along, or who know and simply can't be bothered to keep them apart.
But by far the worst are injuries inflicted by humans through intentional acts of cruelty. I've written of many of these right here, and without exception, these stories are deeply disturbing and profoundly moving. For those of us who love animals deeply, these stories are repugnant, but we feel obliged to read them in the hopes that perhaps there is some small thing we can do to stop it, to make it better, or at least to let others know so they, too, might add to the momentum against these horrid goings-on.
Today, I just want to remind you that there are groups out there whose sole purpose is to find animals who are suffering and to remove them from those situations, and to prevent such suffering from happening ever again. Joining and supporting the work of these organizations is something we can all do, no matter where we are or what we do for a living. We can join and support their activities with our dues, our donations of money and/or requested items, and through volunteer work.
Probably the primary mover and shaker in the anti-cruelty field is the ASPCA, of which I've been a member for years. Here's a video they made to commemorate 145 years of preventing cruelty to animals. If you're not already a member, please consider joining us in this worthy goal.