April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

April marks the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, a nationwide observance dedicated to raising awareness about the mistreatment of animals and finding ways to combat animal cruelty. People tend to think that cruelty only happens far away from them, when in reality, it is happening in our own backyard. We reached out to the Operations Manager of South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, Christian Butler, to give his input on the subject, and how we, as a community, can help combat any type of animal cruelty. Here is what he had to say:

“Animal cruelty is alive and well in many forms, ranging from neglect (not providing proper food, water, shelter, grooming, etc.), to actual¬†physical abuse, and even people using animals for things as barbaric as dog fighting. I can’t think of a time in my 1.5 years at SJRAS that we have not had at least 1 dog on a “hold” due to an active court case. Probably the most common situation we see is dogs being kept outside without proper food, water, and shelter for prolonged periods of time (especially in winter and summer weather when the laws are more strict). Many of the situations we see frequently are situations that need to be, and should have been, handled as learning or educational moments. Most members of the public are not fully aware of every single law in the books regarding domestic animals, and there are also many scenarios where people were raised to view animals differently than you and I. Animal Control and police being used as community servants and educators and less as ticket-writers is the key to turning around the epidemic that the animal welfare world is in right now. There are a lot of great people in the industry right now, but each of us can only do so much and need help from the community.”

We then asked Christian to provide some examples of cruelty cases that have come into SJRAS.

a black dog named Fluffy“Fluffy was brought in with 5 other dogs after being kept in crates in a trailer for we don’t know how long. The dogs were not in terrible condition, but were stressed and fearful upon arrival. Fluffy opened up quickly and was eager to please and play, and was a sweet girl who got adopted after her court case finished!






white dog with brown eye patch named LunaLuna and another dog named Loki were left alone in the yard of a house after their owner moved out. They were left to fend for themselves, except for when the neighbor would throw them food over the fence once in a while. The two dogs fought over the food, but Luna took the brunt of it from Loki and was beat up bad upon arrival. This didn’t hold her back from being the sweetest dog ever!





brown puppy named cosmo and grey puppy named WandaCosmo (brown puppy) and Wanda (grey puppy) are two puppies who were abandoned in the woods in a laundry basket with a third puppy who was unfortunately deceased by the time someone stumbled upon them. Despite what was no doubt a terrible start to their life, they had nothing but love to give their new families after they were adopted.”






It is so important to know and understand that cruelty case animals are not lost causes. Many of them want nothing but love, and end up being some of the best family members you could ask for.

Two of the biggest things we can do to help prevent animal cruelty are educating ourselves and our loved ones on the proper treatment of animals, and reporting if we see ANY type of cruelty happening.

We know that this is a very tough subject to talk about / read about, however we feel that it is so important to spread awareness to the public so that they better understand just how much of an epidemic it is, and to know that there are things we can do to help prevent it.

Whether you have a dog, cat, snake, rabbit, etc. please give them an extra kiss tonight, and an extra squeeze from all of us here at Fetch.

Tail Wags,

Carolyn Lapps
General Manager