Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Help! Let’s join the fight against cruelty of animals, support JSPCA

Published:Friday | August 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMKatherine Chen/ Contributor

Walking down the humid streets of Jamaica, there are a few things one can spot immediately. Firstly our ever-present collection of the world's finest potholes, available in a variety of sizes. Next, a wide array of vendors offering bag juice or cold jelly to ward off the sweltering heat. Finally, the unavoidable presence of stray animals, whether canine or feline, roaming our asphalt streets uncared for.

These animals resemble skin and bones rather than living, breathing organisms with the potential to love and be loved. They are left to fend for themselves, fighting relentlessly for measly scraps and barely making it through the gruesome 24 hours. Yet, despite their constant fight for survival, they remain abundant as their admirable resilience, paired with uncontrolled breeding, results in more and more animals being condemned to the same cruel fate. Yet, who is left to take care of these abandoned members of our ecosystem?

The answer is the few hidden heroes that work behind the scenes in the form of our local animal clinics. The work they do is not motivated by money or greed, but rather a genuine love to protect those unable to defend themselves. Yet, we, as a society, have dissociated ourselves from them. Rather than work together to support the promotion and development of these organisations through fundraisers or simply choosing to adopt rather than purchase our pets, we have chosen to turn a blind eye to these worthy causes.

 

Barely functioning

 

Due to our disregard for the importance of organisations of this nature, these clinics are barely functioning. Their intentions are benevolent, yet they simply do not have the money or support to fulfil their purpose. This struggle to survive is reflected in the recent statement by the managing director of the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), where she claims that roughly 65 per cent of the animals under their care have been euthanised due to a lack of resources. How have we allowed this to happen? How can we claim to love the animals within our homes, yet leave their brothers and sisters to succumb to the cruel nature of our world?

The clear hypocrisy of our actions is no longer humorous. The individuals who cry at abused animals on social media yet still ignore the suffering of animals in their own communities are just as cruel as the abusers. This culture of complacency will no longer stand within our country. We pride ourselves on being brave, yet we cower at the chance to make a difference. We state we are a benevolent society, yet we prioritise sleeping in rather than volunteering our time to supporting organ-isations that truly make a difference.

Now is the time to stop crying at the sight of animals whose lives have been belittled to mere roadkill. Now is the time to find a way to reduce the number of stray animals on our roads so that these malicious murders can be prevented rather than mourned. How? The first step is choosing to take action, whether it is dedicating your morning at your local animal clinic or donating money or supplies to their cause. The op-tions for advocacy are endless, but the only way to see change is to start.

Organisations like the JSPCA do more than simply save the lives of animals. Their dedication to making a difference inspires others like me to look within ourselves to find the power to enact change. The purity of their actions has allowed my life to no longer be enriched by material things, but instead by the joy derived from helping those who have only been exposed to cruelty. Please join the fight against animal cruelty and support our local animal clinics. Choose to act.