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Volunteers Increase Awareness

Volunteer Abbey Gill pets Randal, a beagle. Photo by Cassie Kolbo.
Volunteer Abbey Gill pets Randal, a beagle. Photo by Cassidy Kolbo.

Abbey Gill gazes at the poor, sickly dog that is looking back with pitiful, sad eyes.  She can only hope the dog will be adopted. Otherwise, he would have to be put down.

In the year she has been volunteering at the Disputanta Animal Hospital, this is the saddest thing she has witnessed.

“Animals are innocent creatures and should be treated fairly. They don’t have a voice of their own so it is important to speak for them,” Gill said.

During the month of April, organizations like the ASPCA work to raise awareness against animal cruelty. Some examples of animal cruelty include puppy mills, dog fighting, and animal hoarding.

“People can fight against animal abuse by coming together as a community and looking out for any abusive behavior towards animals,” Gill said.

Not only are animals freed from cruel situations, but they also are given a new chance at life when they are adopted. Without these people to stand up for them, animals would be stuck in their dismal situations for the rest of their lives.

“As an animal control officer, you are put into a position where you have to speak up for the animals,” Dana Newmeyer, Animal Control Officer for Prince George Animal Services and Adoption Center said.

Abuse against pets often leaves them frail, helpless, and sick, so the Animal Control Officers work to help rehabilitate the animals and get them adopted out.

“Seeing animals that come in that you’ve rescued with severe injuries, just waiting upon death’s door, and then taking the time to nurse them back to health [makes the job worth it,]” Newmeyer said.

Without support from local community and shelters many animals that suffer from abuse would be left to die. Shelters also take in stray animals that are often just left to run rampant, frequently reproducing and perpetuating the problem of overpopulation.

“Animals have a place in a person’s heart that nothing else could ever reach,” Gill said.

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