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Animal Abuse and Prevention
By: RJ, Grade 10, Crescent Collegiate, Blaketown, NF

Last July, Ben, a three year old Labrador retriever, was dragged behind a pick- up truck on a rope and left to die. Fortunately, he was found and taken to the Humane Society where his wounds were treated and he was gradually nursed back to health.

Eventually, he was adopted by Don and Lisa, a young couple who say they couldn't imagine finding a better pet. Unfortunately, not all stories of animal abuse end as happily as Ben's. Animal abuse is a serious problem in today's society and the issue continues to worsen.

People have to realize that their actions are not only affecting the victimized animals. They are also affecting the surrounding environment. Children learn morals and values from the two people they respect most in life, their parents. When children witness carelessness and disrespect towards family pets, it can affect their future emotional and behavioural development.

Statistics show that 60% of children who grow up in a household where an animal is neglected or abused, will most likely use the same behavior on other animals. If children are shown at a young age that animal abuse is wrong and unacceptable they will carry this valuable lesson throughout their life. They, in turn, teach this lesson to their children. And hopefully stop the cycle of animal abuse.

Unfortunately, in most communities animal abuse is a topic which is usually taken very lightly. There is too much tolerance given for this unacceptable behavior. Products such as shock collars and chock chains are often used as a method of instruction when really they are the simplest form of abuse. They are an easy alternative for impatient and lazy owners.

People need to wake up and realize that the situation of animal abuse is not going away. Prevention of animal abuse is a very easy process which needs little effort.

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