Who Keeps Animal Abusers From Abusing Again?

If, like me, you have an interest in animals and their welfare, you probably from time to time come across stories or pictures of animal neglect, abandonment, and abuse. Sometimes these stories and pictures are pretty horrific.

Even if you don’t particularly care for animals, you still should be concerned about cruelty to them, because it is well documented that people who abuse animals will likely go on to abuse people, too. They lack the capacity for empathy, one of the most important qualities that makes us human, which allows these abusers to inflict cruelty on others without compunction.

Many times the person or persons responsible for neglecting or abusing an animal never are found, and the best that can be done for that animal is to save it, rehabilitate it, and find it a new, loving home. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who do this kind of animal rescue, and those folks are heroes beyond compare.

In the best of best possible outcomes, the cruelty perpetrators are found, arrested, tried, and sent to jail. As part of their sentence, these people often are forbidden to own animals again.

Here’s where I get worried:

Who makes sure animal abusers never have access to animals again?

People move, change names, go into hiding. Who keeps track of them and makes sure they don’t have a chance to abuse animals again?

Do they have to wear a big red AA, for Animal Abuser, on their chest, like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter?

Are they put on a nationwide list, as pedophiles are, forbidden from entering pet shops and animal shelters, subject to random home inspections, and made to report their whereabouts for life?

I wonder. I wonder if anybody knows.

I wish you peace and joy, and kindness to any animals in your life.

Marjorie Beck

Thank you for reading my post.

Speaking of Insensitive Things to Say. . . .

It seems when people we know suffer a loss or a tragedy, a lot of us have absolutely no idea what to say to bring comfort.

For example, when your beloved companion animal dies, friends with no companion animals in their lives may say, “You can get another one.”

Or my personal favorite,

“It was only a cat (dog, rabbit, ferret, parakeet, snake, whatever).”

When I hear that, I want to smash the speaker in the mouth. My companion animals are my family. How dare you diminish their importance.

When I was younger and struggling with my own undiagnosed depression, I was one of those people who did not know what to say to others suffering a loss. I was so focused on my own misery it was difficult for me to feel true empathy for the sorrows of others. I said a lot of stupid things.

Here’s another of my favorite insensitive things to say:

God will never give you anything more than you can handle.

To me, this is total bullpucky.

First, I’m an atheist; I don’t believe in a god.

Second, if I did believe in a god, I wouldn’t believe in some divine puppet master who capriciously flings down suffering on some and good fortune on others just to see how they’ll handle it.

Third, whether or not there is a god, this is a condescending and patronizing thing to say to someone in pain. It doesn’t help at all. Don’t say it.

Through the years I have learned a lot about things to say and not to say to people in times of trouble. Sometimes I still don’t know what to say. In those cases, I’ve learned the best thing to say to suffering people is nothing at all, but just to beĀ with them.

Sit with them. Give hugs. Hold hands. Take walks together. Let your presence show you care and you’re there for them. And if they want to talk, listen. Just listen, and don’t try to talk them out of their grief with platitudes. Just be, and let your presence and time work its healing.

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Peace and Joy,

Marjorie BeckMarjorie Beck