April 17-23, 2011, Designated as "Animal Abuse Awareness Week"

Apr 18, 2011, 15:31 ET from Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)

HUMMELSTOWN, Pa., April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On April 11, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania adopted, H.R. 179, a resolution which makes the week of April 17-23, 2011, "Animal Abuse Awareness Week." Initially introduced by 52 members of the House of Representatives, the measure highlights the serious issue which animal abuse cases represent.

The resolution notes that animal abuse happens in every community and can often be indicative of another form of violence in the home, such as spousal abuse, child abuse, or elder abuse. An increase in awareness of the problem and knowing what signs to look for makes a safer community for everyone.

Dr. Bryan Langlois, Veterinarian of the Humane League of Lancaster County, said, "Veterinarians are always on the front lines in helping to prevent and prosecute animal cruelty. They are the experts that can often make or break a case; however, the veterinarian cannot prosecute animal cruelty cases alone. They need the help of humane officers, police officers, and district attorneys who dedicate their lives to the protection of those who cannot protect themselves. The link between animal abuse and abuse of other members of the family has been scientifically proven. Many serial killers and others who commit horrific acts of violence started by abusing animals. As a veterinarian who deals with cruelty cases every day, I urge everyone to report instances of animal abuse to the proper authorities."

Most cases of animal abuse are only pursued after a tip from someone in the community. If you suspect animal abuse in your neighborhood, contact your local animal shelter or animal control agency. A list of physical and environmental signs of abuse are listed on the ASPCA website, www.aspca.org, as well as FAQs and tips on how to report abuse.

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is the only statewide professional organization of over 2,200 veterinarians from across the Commonwealth. The association, which was established in 1883, strives to advance animal welfare and human health while ensuring the vitality of the veterinary profession. PVMA's website is available at www.pavma.org.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)