This fall, a bipartisan endeavor brought forth a bill making animal cruelty/abuse a felony. The U.S. Senate passed the measure unanimously, as did the House earlier, and President Donald Trump signed the bill into law. Known as the PACT (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture) Act, the measure closes loopholes in a 2010 law incorporates torture and other forms of cruelty. Violators now face penalties of fines, prison terms of up to seven years, or both.
This week, I’m pleased to welcome a guest blogger to my site. Karen Ingalls is an award-winning author, blogger, and a retired RN with a Master’s Degree in Human Development/ Psychology. She recently released a new book which deals with a tough subject: abuse. She’s graciously provided this post to talk about one such form: animal abuse/cruelty. It’s a tough subject but one that needs to be addressed
, for sadly, animal abuse, just like child, elder, and spousal abuse, happens all too frequently. Welcome, Karen!
by Karen Ingalls
Unfortunately, animal abuse has been around for thousands of years. Throughout history there have been animal sacrifices and animal cruelty. The ritual of killing and offering an animal was a religious ritual in Europe and the Near East until Christianity spread during the Middle Ages. (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruelty_to_animals)
The cruel and abusive acts by humans fall into the categories of dogfighting, the puppy industry, animal hoarding, farm animal welfare, horse slaughter, and such “sports” as Greyhound racing and cockfighting. Animal neglect includes lack of shelter, food/water, mange, and cages if too small. (source: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/animal-cruelty-facts-and-stats)
My experience with animal cruelty occurred when I was a young teenager. I had always loved horses, and my favorite book was titled Drinkers of the Wind. My stepfather bought three horses: a stallion for him, a Shetland for my seven-year-old sister, and an American Paint for me. This was very kind and generous of him; however, his kindness soon proved to be false. My horse was namedBabe and his previous owner had abused him by frequently poking him with a pitchfork and keeping him locked up in a stall for several days at a time.
My parents were concerned if I would be safe riding or caring for Babe, but I never had an issue with him. He let me brush him, ride him, and he always obeyed my commands.
When any male was round, Babe snorted, flared his nostrils and pawed the ground.
One Sunday, my stepfather wanted to ride my horse. I cautioned him that Babe did not like men and it would not be a good idea to try and ride him. His response was a glare and said that I had spoiled Babe long enough. My stepfather barely managed to get in the saddle. Then he started whipping and kicking my beloved horse who suddenly took off on a dead run. After some distance, Babe came to a sudden halt, and I watched my stepfather fly over the horse’s head and land hard on the ground. My stepfather’s dark glare, swearing and “I’ll show your horse who is boss,” scared me.
The following Sunday, I eagerly looked for Babe in the stall, corral, and pasture. With an evil smile my stepfather told me, “You will not find your stupid horse here. I sold him to a dog food factory.” I was devastated, hated my stepfather, and never rode a horse again.
My stepfather physically, emotionally and sexually abused my mother, sisters, and me. He was 32 when he married my mother, and he was in his early 40’s when he had my horse killed. He tolerated the parakeet and dog we had but never participated in their care. I often wonder what he did to our pets when we were not home.
Writer’s and Editor’s Notes: Oftentimes there’s a relationship between animal and human abuse. Women who have been abused report their husbands or significant others did the same to their pets. Men under 30 are more likely to abuse animals, but animal hoarding occurs more commonly with women over 60.
(source: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/animal-cruelty-facts-and-stats). Report abuse of any type, to another person or to an animal, to the proper authorities. There is help for both!
Karen Ingalls writes about abuse of all types in her newest book, When I Rise: Tales, Truths, and Symbolic Trees, a series of short stories that center on social and family issues. The book is available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats: https://www.amazon.com/When-Rise-Tales-Truths-Symbolic/dp/1706761953. She is the author of award-winning books, a blogger, an active member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Rave Writers International Society of Authors, and Independent Authors Network. She likes to write about family and social issues, many of which she has personally witnessed in her family. Ovarian cancer has been a part of her life for the past several years, but “it does not have my life.” She advocates for ovarian cancer awareness, is a public speaker, and fundraiser. By birth she is a Californian, her heart is in Minnesota, and she is a happy retiree playing golf, gardening, and writing in Florida. She loves to read and challenges herself to read 100 books each year, but writing is her true passion.
When I Rise: Tales, Truths and Symbolic Trees
Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir
Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Novy’s Son: The Selfish Genius https://www.amazon.com/Novys-Son-Selfish-Karen-Ingalls-ebook/dp/B01B1O2VQY/ref
All book sale proceeds go to ovarian cancer research!
Karen Ingalls on the web:
Book video for Davida: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNLHvrnlqRY&feature=youtu
Book video for Novy’s Son: http://bit.ly/2jJmMwl