President’s Message:

Ways You Can Help Animals

Pat Valusek, president of New York State Humane Association
Pat Valusek, President of New York State Humane Association.

The impact of COVID appears to have diminished and the long summer is almost at an end. We need to step out of our homes, shake off the summer languor, embrace the autumn briskness, and resume actions that promote the well-being of the animals of the state.

There are numerous ways to help, and choosing an activity that matches your interests will keep you engaged. Help is needed in all areas, as COVID not only reduced financial donations, it reduced activities of all types.

  • Something we can do easily is contact the Governor’s office and express support for the three animal bills that passed the legislature and are awaiting her signature to become law: the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill, the NY Cruelty-Free Cosmetic Act, and the Shelter Standards bill. They are explained further in Our Voices in Albany, along with contact information for Governor Hochul(see Our Voices in Albany in Fall pdf 2022 newsletter).
  • We can also watch out for people committing cruelty to animals. Jot down the facts of the situation: what happened, where it did happen, when did it happen, and who did it? Use your smart phone to create a video if possible, and call the police or the local SPCA to report it. The public’s reporting of cruelty is the catalyst for most investigations that bring relief to the animals being abused.

When we become aware that an arrest has been made in an animal cruelty case, we can reach out to the district attorney’s office with a polite letter or email and urge them to take the case seriously, not only for the sake of the animal, but also for society, for animal abuse is highly correlated with subsequent crimes against humans. Look at Dr. Hovel’s booklet, The Connection Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence, located on our website, for information to bring to the attention of the district attorney’s office.

When a defendant in a cruelty case has been convicted, we can write a polite letter to the judge on the case urging him/her to impose a sentence that reflects the seriousness of animal crime. Judges do read their mail. In fact, several years ago, a Sullivan County judge dealt with a case where a puppy had been battered and then buried under rocks in a wooded area where he was later found by hikers. The judge said he had received more mail about that case than any other in his career. Letters came from as far away as California.

  • In addition to financial contributions, we can donate our time at local humane agencies to help walk and socialize the dogs and cats who are so desperately waiting for homes. Those of us who enjoy farm animals and horses can spend time volunteering at farm sanctuaries and horse rescues. In addition, humane agencies can use your old towels, sheets, and blankets for the animals.

Patrick Valusek

New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XL, Fall 2022.