(Part 2 of 3 parts)
It is so sad that our society treats animals as non-living, non-feeling objects. But they are not. They do feel pain. They do suffer. Just like humans.
Can we not extend the same kindness and compassion towards animals as we do humans?
There are ways to help animals without shelling out a single peso.
2. Drive carefully.
For your safety and the safety of both humans and animals, please drive carefully.
“So many dogs and cats have been posted in Facebook after being hit by vehicles. They were either accidentally hit or deliberately ran over,“ noted Sam Russell in 5 Simple Ways to Show Compassion to Animals and the Planet from the site Tiny Buddha (simple wisdom for complex lives).
The accidents could have been avoided by being aware while driving.
Before you start the engine, also look inside the hood if there is a kitten and under your car, if there is a dog or a cat.
• Do slow down when you see an animal near your vehicle.
• Please look behind you or if a dog or cat is near the car and honk your horn to warn the animal.
• Be careful when driving in an area with many animals.
• When you see a cat or dog crossing the street, please stop.
“These are easy and simple ways to ensure you will not hurt an animal,” Russell stressed.
Russell noted: “Our world is crisscrossed with roads cutting through areas of land that were once barely populated by people. Connectivity is important, but it’s also crucial to remember that many of the highways constitute what used to be animals’ homes and territory.”
He added: “Keep your eyes open for warning signs about animals crossing. These signs indicate a very real possibility. It’s vital for your safety as much as, say, a deer’s to slow down. If you hit a large animal at speed or lose control of the vehicle, neither of you will fare very well.”
In case of accidents, please do the following:
a. Please stop in a safe place if you accidentally hit an animal.
b. Call the barangay or the police to ask for help to bring the animal to the veterinarian or seek assistance from an animal welfare group.
c. Ask someone in the area who knows how to handle dogs or cats to put the animal on the side of the road or a safer place so that he or she will not be hit by another car.
d. Ask for help from an animal welfare group to request a rescuer to go the area. When you post on the page of an animal welfare group on Facebook, please give the exact location of the dog.
e. If you do not have funds for medical treatment, please ask help from animal welfare groups to raise funds. Animal welfare advocates will admire you for not leaving the animal and seeking help. They will help you to help the dog or cat.
There is a law against animal neglect, abuse or cruelty. Leaving the dog or cat behind is not a good idea if your intention is to avoid being arrested. A CCTV camera might have caught the incident. It will be easy for authorities to get the plate number and check the name of the owner.
Please do the right thing instead. By seeking help for the dog or cat, you are lessening the gravity of your action. The owner or officials might decide not to file charges against you anymore.
f. Please look for the owner nearby and inform the owner immediately.
g. If there is no owner near the location of the accident, and while the dog is being treated, please post on Facebook about the dog and look for the owner. Provide your contact details or ask the owner to send you a private message. Please ask for proof of ownership.
h. If the dog has no owner or appears to be a stray, please look for an animal welfare group, shelter or sanctuary to take the dog in or for an adopter if you can not adopt the dog. Please screen the adopter first. You can ask an animal welfare group on how to screen would-be adopters. Do not just give away the dog to anyone as there are persons who pose as a dog or cat lovers but who use animals for experiments, for dog fights or baits in dog fight training, or who sell dog meat.
(Next week: How to teach your kids to be compassionate towards animals)
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