SPCA and Other Organizations
SPCAs are supposed to be there to help with surrendered animals, offering medical care and the chances to be rehomed to their animal patients. They also investigate in animal cruelty, to ensure that pets are being cared for properly.
However, what happens if you believe there are animals being neglected by someone you know? Do you immediately call the SPCA?
No. You don't. Not only are they busy enough every day as it is, but sometimes what may seem like cruelty or neglect may be something entirely different, or could even be fixed with you being a good samaritan to more than just the law - but to a pet owner.
1. Do not sum up the situation with one glance. Sometimes it is just a one time occurence for something you have noticed - such as an uncleaned cage.
2. Don't assume you know everything. If something is bothering you about how they keep their animals, do research. Join forums and groups to ask questions.
3. Talk to the person. Find out what is going on in their lives, what hardships they face. Try to come to a solution with them, if there is in fact something they could change. Avoid accusations. Offering advice that may in fact make it easier for both the animal and the owner without accusing anyone is the best way to go.
4. Animals are not cookie cut. Each animal will be different in needs. Not all dogs need an hour or two of strainuous activity - not all cats need (or should have) their food bowl filled to the brim.
5. Realize what you will be doing for the animals if you do make a call. Are you sure these animals are being abused? Do you have evidence to support your claims? What happens when the animal does not get adopted *if* surrendered? Who's to say they won't end up in worse conditions?
6. Offer to help rather than take away. As we continue on in life we meet road blocks. Whether it's money, illness, injuries, old age, a new baby or other issues that arise, it does not mean the animals should be tossed away. If your friend or relative needs help around the house, offer to help.
Hundreds of thousands of animals are surrendered to the SPCA by willing owners. Even more are brought in neglected or abandoned. The more time wasted on small issues and petty claims, the less time they have to save and change lives.