Yes, there actually is a “Be Kind to Animals Week,” and it always begins on the first Sunday in May. Of course, we in the humane business like to believe folks are kind to their animals throughout the year, but that’s not always the case.

Some people raise animals in inhumane conditions, abandon their companion animals, or otherwise condemn them to suffering, starvation and disease. Other people have allowed thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens to be born into a world where there just aren’t enough good homes.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas employs two full-time cruelty investigators whose main job is to help animals who can’t help themselves.

Most calls involve neglect – lack of water, shelter, food or proper grooming. Many people don’t know that cruelty to animals in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, and conviction carries a penalty not to exceed $2,000 and/or one year in the county jail.

In addition to answering about 400 calls monthly, the investigators cover a territory including North Texas and parts of Oklahoma. They average about 3,000 miles per month. Their department, which includes rescue equipment and vehicles, is funded through private donations.

The investigators work with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife; last year, they rescued two lions that lacked proper medical care and were cruelly confined.

Because the SPCA doesn’t have adequate space to handle exotic animals, an Association of Animal Sanctuaries has been formed in conjunction with the Summerlee Foundation to address this growing problem of unwanted, abandoned and abused exotic animals.

If you are aware of animal abuse, call the SPCA Field Investigation Department at 651-9611 – and not just this month, but throughout the year.

SPCA Calendar

May 2 – Volunteer orientation, 9-11 a.m.

May 9 – Lakewood Love Run, First Interstate Bank, 6301 Gaston, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

May 14 – Volunteer orientation, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

May 15-17 – Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club Regatta on Lake Lewisville, with proceeds benefiting the SPCA.

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