Animal Humane Society Promotes Prevention through Education
Golden Valley, MN (April 9, 2008)—April is often called the cruelest month of the year, but Animal Humane Society (AHS) hopes that with education, it doesn’t have to be for animals. AHS has been active in the prevention of animal cruelty in Minnesota since 1878. Our strongest lines of defense include humane investigations and education.
“Our Humane Investigations department responds to 3,000–5,000 requests for service each year,” states Janelle Dixon, President and CEO of AHS. “We hope to bring those numbers down by continuing to engage the hearts, hands and minds of the public and being a strong voice for animals.”
Animal Humane Society engages the public by educating them on the proper care of animals. A great number of people unintentionally bring harm to their pet by simply not knowing how to tend to them properly.
“Many of the reported cases of cruelty we investigate have a close parallel to weather,” states Keith Streff, one of two full-time, professional humane investigators in the state and working for AHS. “Many of the calls are seasonal related. Examples include pets being left outside in the summer heat with no water and situations where animals are left out in the extreme cold without shelter.”
The duties of AHS humane investigators also include investigating cases that involve dog fighting, cock fighting, negligent breeders, starvation/emaciation, and malicious behavior that results in the unjustified pain and suffering of animals. Humane investigators have authority under the law to remove animals and hold their owner responsible when the conditions warrant it.
According to Streff, who has been with AHS since 1987, many of the cases can be resolved with an educational approach. In 2007, AHS reached more than 24,000 students through its humane education programs. Shelter tours, summer camps, children’s evening programs, Boy/Girl Scout programs, and multimedia kits for teachers are offered. Classroom education programs are offered to schools, clubs and community organizations tailored to the age and interest of the audience.
“Humane education gives Animal Humane Society the ability to prevent animal cruelty before it starts,” states Tammy Noack, Humane Education Manager for AHS. “Our focus is to help students develop compassion, empathy, and respect for animals. We can change attitudes regarding what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to how animals should be treated.”
For more information on our humane education programs, please visit us online at www.animalhumanesociety.org. If you have an animal welfare concern and are unsure who to contact for help, contact Animal Humane Society Humane Investigations at 763-489-2236.