April is “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” Month: If You See Something, Say Something 

Prevent animal abuseIf you witness animal cruelty, take action. April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and the Prince William County Police Department’s Animal Control Bureau wants you to know that prevention plays a critical role in improving the safety and welfare of both animals and people. While most of us recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal cruelty, there are also several warning signs of mistreatment, neglect or abuse that are more subtle. Keep in mind the seven most common warning signs of animal cruelty:

  1. Howling or barking for a sustained period of time or hearing an animal cry in pain with higher-pitched, more persistent vocal sounds than usual.
  2. Singed, matted, chronically or excessively dirty hair or fur.
  3. Wounds, unusual scars, hair loss, frequent limping—often on different legs, or signs of improper nutrition such as weight loss or prominent visible ribs.
  4. Animals kept caged or tethered with little room to move for long periods of time or without regular interaction with people.
  5. Lack of protection from the weather or feces- or debris-strewn living areas for animals.
  6. Collars, leashes, or halters so tight they visibly dig into the animal’s face or neck.
  7. A large number of animals coming or going from a property. We all have a role to play in prevention of animal cruelty.

If you know of, or suspect, animal cruelty report your concerns to the Prince William County Police Animal Control Bureau by calling 703-792-6500. Remember: If you see something, say something.

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