Animal Abuse:intentional v. unintentional


Hey guys, so I was reading up on this article that deals with animal abuse. It basically is a blog describing the difference between intentional and unintentional abuse towards animals. Something interesting the article mentioned were things like doghouses and leashes that someone wouldn’t really think of as abusive. As some of us have pets, I think it is good for us to know about the possible problems that can arise from mistreatment. For example, the article first mentioned unintentional abuse. Under this section it mentioned doghouses. Although doghouses are a convenient and safe location for your family dog, it is not when it begins to rain. When it rains, water tends to flood the bottom of the doghouse floor and leaves your pet having to reside in such conditions. Another example they had of unintentional treatment was leaving your cat or dog in the car on a hot day with the windows rolled up.

Growing up in America, it wasn’t abnormal for me to think that dogs and cats were friendly. When I was younger I remember having different pets ranging from guinea pigs to dogs. I was so used to viewing animals in this light. However, when I visited another country (Nigeria), I quickly realized the treatment animals in America is very different from Nigeria. While I was in Nigeria, I went to visit my aunt. As we pulled up to her home, I looked out the window and saw her dog. She (the dog) had tattered fur and her bones were very apparent as I passed by. Shewas not linked up to any pole or doghouse but rather lying on the ground next to her water bowl. Out of excitment of seeing a dog, I quickly rushed out of the car to pet her. As I was about to lay my hand on her splotched fur, my aunt gave me a shocked glance. She then proceeded to tell me to stop and go in the house for dinner. I then asked her,”What did I do?” She then told me to go wash my hands. After my awkward experience of petting her dog, was able to conclude their are measurable differences between the animals in America (and how we view them) and in Nigeria.

One thing I noticed, tht was different from American and Nigerian dogs was that Nigerian dogs are never restrained by a leash or chain. They are free to roam. Something else I noticed was that Nigerians have a negative outlook on dogs. Whenever any Nigerian family friends would come to visit my family, there first question would be, “Do you have a dog?” After we answered them, they  would then proceed to say.. , “Is he locked up in his cage!?!” or “Is he outside!?!”

Out of this experience and researching animal shelters, I was able to not only realize but understand the extreme differences between someone’s perspective on treating animals. Although, in America we may think we treat our dogs with more care than other countries we tend to forget about how much we restrict our pets to such a degree they are not allowed to roam free in our yards without a chain or leash. Now, I am not saying one country has better treatment of companion animals than the other. However, I am pointing out that unintentional abuse can happen anywhere. While Nigerians do not give their dogs check ups or as much affection as Americans, Americans at some points forget to let their dog be a dog. Perspectives on animal treatment is culturally defined.

7 Responses to “Animal Abuse:intentional v. unintentional”

  1.   llawson Says:

    I think advocacy and the dispersion of information is a huge factor in preventing unintentional abuse, which needs to be stressed. I also think that unintentional abuse should not serve as an excuse. When making the decision to bring in a furry family member, it becomes your responsibility to research how to best care for that animal. Granted, research won’t reveal everything, so vigilance and the continual flow of information are also important factors in solving the problem. Additionally, I like how you bring up the international view of the issue. In some cases, it is extremely difficult to make progress due to cultural views, though working against these cultural views can be described as a valid action as a form of life is in danger and experiencing prolonged harm.

  2.   rcoda Says:

    Personally, I think abuse is abuse no matter how people try to term it. Whether or not it’s intentional still leaves a negative impact. I have a dog whom I love dearly, and i could never imagine anything bad happening to him, or inflicting harm upon him in any shape or form. Animals are like people, they demand love and attention, and if people don’t have the compassion to have an animal, they shouldn’t use them as a play toy either.

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