The number of animals that suffer from abuse is quite alarming. Statistics reveal that about a million animals are abused yearly, with pitbulls accounting for 1 out of every 4 cases of violence against animals. Each year around 10,000 bulls are either killed or maimed because they have been bred to fight for entertainment or gambling. Let’s not forget the foxes, mink, wallabies, dogs, possums, chinchilla, martens, coyotes, otters, seals, bears, lynxes, beavers, cats, squirrels, and raccoons who are deprived of any quality of life before being killed either by gassing, electrocution, hanging, breaking their necks, skinning them alive or beating them to death in order to obtain their skin for fur. 
While this may look incomprehensible, I mean, how do people abuse animals, statistics don’t lie. In one heartbreaking story, a 12-year- boy was forced to let his dog go rather than have it suffer another day of abuse for his father. This story reminds us that sometimes letting go of something is better than allowing it to suffer while holding on to it.
“Here Is A Toy, So He Won’t Forget Me.”
On the 13th of February, a shelter called Xollin found a puppy in a box. It turns out that a 12-year-old boy named Andrés had been left it there on purpose. When they looked inside, they found a plush toy alongside a note. It was then the reason behind leaving the puppy at the shelter became clear.
In the note, the boy explained that his father had always abused the dog and was planning to sell it. Rather than let his dad do that, the boy made a last attempt to save his dog in hopes that it will not forget him. The note which was written in Spanish says:
“My name is Andrés, and I’m 12 years old. My mom and I decided to leave him to you. All of this is behind my dad’s back, because he was thinking of selling him. But he is always beating and kicking the dog. Once he kicked him so hard that his little tail got injured. I hope you can help him and take care of him. Here is a plush toy so he won’t forget me,” he said. 
After checking on the dog’s health, they found that its tail was fractured and that parasites needed to be removed from its body. Thankfully, the dog which has since been named Rene is doing fine.
After they shared this story, several people have offered to adopt the beautiful puppy, but the shelter is currently taking its time to find a suitable home for it. They also mentioned that they wished that more people adopted abused dogs, whether or not they go viral.
“If you all opened your heart and your home to all and not only to this dog, all our animals in the shelter would have been already adopted twice. Thanks to the few people who came to the shelter offering their help to protect other animals suffering abuse or being abandoned in our district and surroundings, ” the shelter said. 
Signs a to look out for in abused dogs
Dogs wind up in animal shelters for a number of reasons. Statistics reveal that 47% of dogs are rehomed owing to aggressive behaviors, problematic habits, and overwhelming health problems. Sometimes, these dogs come from happy and loving homes. Other times they come from a home where they have been abused.
Abused dogs often come off as timid and insecure, and may also have behavioral issues. Understanding that abused dogs with a traumatic past comes with emotional needs is as essential as knowing the signs to look out for in abused dogs. Sometimes, animal shelters or rescue organizations may not have a detailed history of your pet. Before you make that move to adopt a pet, or if you just adopted one, here are a few ways to know if your pet has a history of abuse. 
- They may overreact to the slightest change within their environment.
- They may get unusually scared or cower at the sight of their owner.
- They may react emotionally to certain situations or objects, such as leashes, broom, or belt.
- They may exhibit traits of avoidance or attack a person trying to put a belt on themselves.
- They may have an over-the-top response to a raised tone of voice
- They may urinate in a place when the owner picks up certain objects.
- They may lean away or avoid making direct eye contact.
- They may also get scared when an item is mistakenly dropped on the floor, etc.
How to care for an abused dog
If your dog reacts in any of these ways above, then there’s a possibility that it has been abused in the past; therefore you need to make adjustments and educate yourself on how to live with it. Here are a few tips that will help.
Learn to be patient
The first thing you need to know is that this process will not happen overnight. Sometimes, it may take a while before an abused dog learns to trust humans again; however with knowledge, hard work, consistency, and commitment, an animal that has been abused before can learn to trust again and become a much- loved member of the family.
Do not shout around your pet
You must speak in low tones when your dog is present. As much as possible, try to avoid yelling while giving training commands. Shouting around a previously abused pet can trigger fear or emotional outbursts.
Don’t reach down to pet him.
Avoid reaching down to pet your animal. A previously abused animal may not be able to see you and understand what you are about to do. Approach your pet cautiously and allow it to see you at all times. Before petting your dog, stroke his chest and chin first.
Spend quality time
Now, this part may be a bit tricky; however, it is an important step to follow. Ensure you pick a room you are both comfortable in and close the door behind you. Intermittently, put a treat near your pet and engage in a quiet activity. If he makes a move towards you or snatches up any of the treats, reward it with another treat. Do not make the first move. Allow your pet to set the pace. Each day will see your pet have more confidence and trust in you.
Animal charities you can donate to
Taking care of abused and injured animals is commendable; however, it is expensive and runs to millions of dollars yearly. If you cannot adopt a dog or any other pet, you might as well donate to any of these charities. Your little contribution can go a long way in rescuing and caring for homeless and abused dogs.
Founded in 1994, PetSmart charities has as its goal, a commitment to end pet homelessness. They invest around $45 million on over 3000 animal welfare groups across the United States and Canada. The company, which is headquartered in Phoenix, has provided emergency relief to more than 9,200 pets and funded over 214,000 neuter and spay surgeries.
Animal Welfare Institute
Located in Washington, D.C., the Animal Welfare Institute has been in existence since 1951. They strive to reduce animal cruelty and protect endangered species and their natural environment. What makes this charity special is that they use 90% of their funding to help pets, and spend just 8% on administrative costs and 2% on fundraising overhead.
Other charities making a difference include
- Performing Animal Welfare Society
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Ruffed Grouse Society
- Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation
- The Jane Goodall Institute
- Pollinator Partnership
- Wags and Walks
- Turtle Island Restoration Network
- Bat Conservation International
- The Humane Society of the United States
- Dogs Without Borders
- American Bird Conservancy
- “Fur.” Animals Australia. Admin. Accessed March 8, 2020.
- “A 12-year-old boy left his dog outside a shelter. A heartbreaking note explained why.” CNN. Francisco Guzman and Saeed Ahmed. February 21, 2020.
- ““Here Is A Toy So He Won’t Forget Me”: Boy Leaves His Helpless Puppy At A Shelter So His Dad Can’t Beat It.” Bored Panda. Hidrėlėy and Aelita Senvaitytė. Accessed March 8, 2020.
- “Adopting a Pet with a History of Abuse: What You Should Know. Pet MD. Wailani Sung. Accessed March 8, 2020.
- “Dog Shelter and Adoption Statistics.” Fuzzy Rescue. Becky Roberts. March 2020.
- “Animal cruelty facts and stats.” Human Society. Accessed March 8, 2020.