It almost breaks my heart to see and hear the stories of animals that are abused, neglected, mutilated, left to die and abandoned on a daily basis. It seems no one is immune to the cruelty whether they are committing the crime or remaining silent about their knowledge.
It is proven, and known that many violent offenders learn their craft on animals. What is not so well known but equally valid is many who abuse and neglect animals will do the same to people. Starve them, beat them, torture them, send them to the plant ill or injured, leave them to die the list can literally go on and on. This is horrible, unconscionable and obscene.
There is one other person or persons that need to be called out to answer for their choices. and those are the ones who know something is wrong, and remain silent. Every jurisdiction in Canada and the US offers anonymous tip lines, you don't even have to reveal how you know. You just need to say something!
Someone always knows, they know the kid down the road or in their church is not someone they would trust their children to. They know that when 'Billy' is home the pets seem to be having more accidents. They know that a family is retreating in to a bruised silence. They know that no one called, drove or broke down a gate to check on their own animals. They know someone has quit living or started becoming more violent, addicted or depressed.
These are the people who are never surprised when the person gets caught or the act is revealed, why? Because deep down in their conscience they knew, and they choose to remain silent. They made the choice to shut up and hope that it would magically 'go away'.
People who abuse animals never just 'go away', they stop for reasons such as: death, incarceration or they move on to people. They don't suddenly start, except in rare psychological cases, and they don't just as suddenly stop.
On Facebook, on the news and on the blogs people are cursing the abusers, the violence against those with no voice, and they are right to be outraged and angry. I am saddened deeply by these stories and photos and videos. But they don't tell the whole story, they don't get to the deepest, rottenest core of it all - someone always knows and they rarely do anything about it. They don't call, they don't get help, they don't consider it their responsibility as a member of a community.
What about you? Are you a 'stay silent' type who doesn't know or want to know? Are you a 'speak out' who does their best and tries to stay the course? Do you know why you are the way you are? Were you abused? Did you witness abuse? Do you know deep down in your heart that if you were in the place of those animals or an abused person that you would want someone to speak up for you? Would you want it to be someone like you?
In Manitoba you can call the police, any local detachment or 9-1-1. You can contact the Provincial Welfare Vet at 945-8000. Every province has a similar number, each province has municipal, city and RCMP who can be reached. The sooner you speak up, the sooner the animals can be helped and the sooner a tragedy can be averted.
You can make a difference, can you choose for that? Don't be the silent someone who always knows but never speaks...I cannot abide by that. If you are at risk, call anonymously, pass a note in the store, reach out to someone who can get you to safety and tell your story. No one, not anyone, should be abused. There is no 'degree' of abuse, there is no 'less' or 'more'.
Abuse is abuse, violence is violence, silence is silence.