April was Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, which included Dog Fighting Day on the 8th and Help a Horse Day on the 26th. Helping these causes doesn’t necessarily mean having to volunteer for hours at charity organizations: your clinic’s place in the community makes it easy to encourage action. These tips will help you leverage your position to help animals, and in many cases, enhance your clinic's reputation.
Know How to Give Advice to Clients
When people have questions about pets, they talk to their vet, even if it’s not a pet they own. You and your staff should be familiar with protocols for reporting animal abuse within your clinic, but it’s not as cut-and-dry outside of a medical environment. For example, laws apply to some animals and not others depending on your location: New York only covers “companion animals,” while Alaskan law doesn’t cover fish. Likewise, while leaving an animal outside on a leash is bad for its physical and mental health, it may still be legal in your area under certain circumstances.
Organizations like the ASPCA have guidelines for reporting animal abuse that you can give to concerned clients. Add in a little knowledge about how these cases work and you can help your clients stop animal cruelty:
Witnesses need to document details about abuse including dates and, when safe, photos. This can be used to bring charges against the abuser.
It’s easier to pursue serious criminal convictions than animal cruelty convictions. For example, dog fighting is a felony, so evidence of a dog fighting ring will let the police take action sooner than they would with abuse allegations.
For cruelty at pet stores, the witness should contact the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This office will direct the witness to the regional department that can handle the case. From there, the witness will be asked to submit the complaint in writing.
Online cruelty can be addressed by contacting the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that hosts the site, contacting the authorities local to the website, or contacting the humane society. Using a service like https://whois.net can identify the site’s host so that the correct jurisdiction can be identified.
Work to Change Animal Cruelty Laws
There are a lot of ways your clinic can get involved from active advocacy to including information about upcoming bills in newsletters and fliers. The ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and the Humane Society of the United States are the largest groups advocating for legal action against animal cruelty, but there are many other smaller groups focused on specific animal groups including circus and sporting animals. Even if you can't provide continual support, getting the word out during Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month can help with major pushes for legislation. This year, both the ASPCA and Humane society are driving to pass the HEART (Help Extract Animals from Red Tape) bill which seeks to expedite Federal abuse trials and get animals into new homes faster.
Promote Animal Adoption
Adoption gives abused animals a new chance at life, and it discourages prospective owners from buying animals born in mills. It’s also good for business: being there when a family first adopts a pet can lead them to your clinic, and it improves your clinic’s standing within the community.
Partner with Local Charities
No one knows the needs of local pets like the people who work with them, so why not partner with them? Working with local charities can be as simple as offering to keep fliers and other information on hand or having a place for clients to donate money and supplies. By working together on pet events, you can raise attention for both your clinic and their cause.
Let’s Work Together to Stop Animal Abuse
Positive Impressions LLC doesn’t just help clinics build relationships with their clients through custom reminder cards and paper products, we also actively help the pet community at large. We have aided clinics affected by natural disasters, and we also support veterinary clinics who volunteer their time and services to help abandoned and abused animals and take part in rescue efforts.
Looking for reminder cards, prescription bags and other products to help promote your business? Check out what we have to offer on our website or visit our monthly specials page to see the latest discounted items.