According to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners spend over $60 billion on their furry companions each year. However, some animals are not so fortunate. Due to a number of circumstances, many pet owners can find themselves unable to care for their animals in the way that they deserve. Fortunately, there are people and organizations who are dedicated to providing assistance for these animals so they can live healthy and happy lives. Here are four stories from caretakers detailing the importance of taking care of animals who can’t care for themselves.
Disabled Animals and Animal Rights
The importance of taking care of animals who can’t care for themselves has been a long-standing controversial debate for decades. Their lives have been considered less valuable than humans, and animals were often treated like household property, such as a table or chair. Animals are still used to be a source of food, clothing, and medicine for humans. Animal rights didn’t become an idea that many would even consider until a few centuries ago. Critics of animal rights believe that animals can’t enter into a social contract or reason with humans, so they can’t have any moral right or need to avoid suffering. There were many philosophers over the centuries who fought for kind treatment for animals.
Current research has shown that women are more likely to be empathetic towards the importance of taking care of animals and animal rights than men. Individuals who believe in intelligent design or creationism are less likely than atheists to support animal rights. Even with support from advocates, animals don’t have the same rights as humans. The rights they have protect them more from acts of cruelty. However, humans are still in charge when it comes to what is considered a cruel act. Animals have no way to defend themselves.
The issue over what rights animals should have is still incredibly complex. Animal rights advocates have gotten as far as animals should be treated with a level of respect. Animals have a basic legal insurance policy to not be tortured or neglected. Whatever rights animals have ends if it overrides what rights a human has for respectful treatment. These animals are in a position of being unable to care and fend for themselves when it comes to just treatment. The importance of taking care of animals lies in the consciences of those who argue moral right and wrong.
If you notice animal neglect or cruelty, there are a few things you can do to help. The first step is to recognize what is considered animal abuse and neglect. A few signs to watch for include an animal that is continuously chained outdoors, has a poor body condition, or has no access to sanitary shelter and water. Animal neglect and cruelty can also occur if there are too many animals together in a confined space. If you suspect animal neglect, it’s recommended that you contact your local humane society.
Contact your local police if you believe the animal is in immediate danger. Stray pets can be reported to the local animal control agency where you live. Contact the nearest wildlife institution if you come across an injured wild animal. It’s best for trained authority to handle these types of situations rather than attempting to resolve the issue yourself. An injured or abused animal can be dangerous and cause you serious injury.
Woman Cares for Disabled Dogs
Nothing can illustrate the importance of taking care of animals who can’t care for themselves than experiencing the death of a beloved pet due to disease. After her first rescue dog Sophie died at the age of 12 from illness, Kaveri Rana Bhardwaj was heartbroken. Kaveri has loved all her life, from when she was young, to her wedding, to adulthood with her husband. To cope with the loss, Kaveri decided to do something meaningful by rescuing disabled and helpless dogs. She and her husband decided to create the Sophie Memorial Animal Relief Trust together. The couple also founded the SMART Sanctuary, which is the first animal shelter in the city of Greater Noida, India.
The special bond Kaveri has with dogs has led her to be affectionately called the “Dog Mother” of Noida by local residents. She refers to the 12 rescue dogs that reside in her living room as her ”babies and children.” Kaveri credits being able to do what she does because of the support of her husband, who is a social media marketing services professional. Kaveri’s husband drives the ambulance for the trust. He takes this role on personally because he feels no one else would understand the importance of taking care of animals who are injured.
Kaveri disagrees with the way disabled dogs are currently medically treated. Many dogs with severe injuries are put to sleep because it’s considered a humane thing to do. Kaveri feels that these dogs should at least be given a fighting chance. When the couple receives a call about an injured dog, a local hospital helps support them with medical treatment and surgeries. These treatments can be incredibly expensive, and the couple relies on donors and their own pockets to pay for these costs. The SMART Shelter in Greater Noida can hold between 120 to 500 dogs and includes a Canine Paralysis and Rehabilitation unit.
Animal Rights Activist
Animal rights activists play an important role in helping people understand the importance of taking care of animals who can’t care for themselves. Alpana Bhartia is one of the founders and trustees of People for Animals, which is an organization that focuses on ecological conservation and wildlife rehabilitation. Alpana believes that empathy starts with creating awareness in children. She learned empathy for animals at a young age as her father loved to keep dogs in the home. Alpana became involved as an animal rights activist after hearing Indian politician Maneka Gandhi speak on animal issues during a TV show.
The goal of People for Animals is to take in injured urban animals and give them veterinary care so they can be released back into their natural habitat once they’re healthy. More than 25,000 animals from 200 species have been treated by the organization. The organization accepts donations and volunteer support to help care for these animals. If animal rights are important to you, you may want to consider getting involved by volunteering or perhaps donating extra money saved from buying a home or car. You can contact local animal shelters and organizations in your area to discover ways you can help protect and defend animal rights.
People for Animals has become one of the largest animal welfare organizations in India. The organization has stopped ostrich farming, disbanded elephant training camps, and saved numerous animals from commercial exploitation. They have also been involved in feeding feral animals and preventing camels from being slaughtered. The organization conducts numerous teaching programs across the country to help raise awareness of the plight of animals across India. They are currently working on building a wildlife rehabilitation center.
Free Services Provided to Pets of Homeless Individuals
A Texas veterinary clinic understands the importance of taking care of animals who can’t care for themselves. Homeless individuals who have pets typically can’t afford to pay for expensive medical care for their furry companions. PETS Clinic of Lubbock is working with a rehabilitation center called Open Door that provides services to homeless individuals. Executive Director of PETS Clinic Angie Skinner notes that many homeless people attempt to take care of their pet’s needs before their own.
The medical care clinic wanted to do something to help take the burden off of these individuals. The services that they provide include flea and tick prevention, vaccinations, and spays and neuters. The center isn’t equipped to handle emergency medical procedures and treatments for life-threatening injuries. Services are provided free of charge for anyone on the street or involved with Open Door’s programs. PETS Clinic is accepting donations online from those who want to help provide this important medical care.
Homeless people can receive backlash from the community for owning a pet in their circumstances. Some people may feel it is selfish to have an animal in that situation. These pets give their owners constant unconditional love that these homeless individuals may not be able to get anywhere else. Pets can help people struggling with PTSD or anxiety so they can function in their daily lives. These animals often help homeless sex trafficking survivors rebuild trusting relationships.
Vet Treats Homeless Individuals’ Pets in California
The coronavirus pandemic during 2020 caused numerous financial hardships for many individuals. Many people have found themselves unemployed and unable to pay for rent or basic expenses like food or wholesale gas. As a result, many pets have suffered as well by being abandoned because owners could no longer afford them. Kwane Stewart is a man in California who understood the importance of taking care of animals during this crisis and set out to make a difference. The 49-year-old veterinarian walks the streets and treats the pets of homeless people at no charge.
Kwane often pays for expenses such as medicine, food, and vaccinations out of his own pocket. On occasion, he may come across an animal on a lawn or in the street with severe issues that need hospital treatment. Kwane opened up a Crowdfunding page for these cases to help pay for expensive surgeries through public donations.
How Can You Make Your Home Ready to Welcome a Disabled Pet or Emotional Support Animal?
If you are thinking of making a new home addition with a disabled pet or emotional support animal, there are a few things you should know in advance. You will need to make a few adaptations before welcoming your new pet into your home. With disabled pets, you want to make sure that your home is free from clutter and that walkways are clear. If you have slippery flooring, you may want to lay down some carpeted mats and rugs for easier traction. Make steps and furniture access easier with mobility ramps and pet steps.
If your pet has mobility issues, you may want to create an indoor bathroom area to help prevent an incontinence emergency. Keep your pet safe from areas they shouldn’t access by using baby gates or lockable pet doors. Make sure your pet is safe in the event of a fire by having a sprinkler system or fire alarm installed by one of the fire sprinkler companies in your area. You can protect them from harm while outdoors with fencing in the yard and around swimming pools. If you have concerns about their safety when you’re not at home, you may want to consider investing in a home security system that allows you to view your pet from an app on your phone.
If your pet has vision issues, create a home base that includes its bedding and food bowls in one place. This can give your pet a starting point if he or she gets confused trying to navigate your home. Place padding on sharp edges of furniture to help prevent injuries from an accidental collision. Many of these same tips can be used for an emotional support animal as well. Make sure your pet receives a structured schedule every day with set times for walks, meals, and play. Study up on animal training so you can help your pet acclimate to its new home easier.
Animals play an important role in many people’s lives. They can be a source of emotional support and unconditional love and provide many health benefits for their human providers. The importance of taking care of animals who are unable to take care of themselves is an issue to take seriously. With the help of humans, these animals can receive the same unconditional love and support they freely give on a daily basis. Consider what actions you can take to help an unfortunate animal with things like food, shelter, and medical care. You can make a huge difference and save many lives.