Cat in the grass

ways to prevent cruelty to animals

FOUR PAWS recommends 10 tips on how you can help prevent animal cruelty


Being a compassionate person, it is hard to see animal suffering and know what you can do about it. The good news is that everyone can do something to prevent cruelty to animals. Together, all of us can create a world where people treat animals with empathy, respect and understanding. Every Australian can help to make this a reality, by extending kindness to the animals they encounter in their own lives. 

Here are FOUR PAWS 10 tips on how you can help animals today:

10 tips to prevent cruelty to animals

  • Be a responsible pet owner. Understand and fulfil the needs of your pet. Provide them with positive experiences that enhance their well-being, such as their favourite play activities and companionship.
  1. Be an example of kindness to other pets. Foster a pet who has suffered abandonment. Sadly, many pets are relinquished to shelters for various reasons. Foster homes help these animals to recover and prepare them to move onto a new permanent loving home.
  2. Intervene if you witness animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, especially if you spot a suspicious 'fake' animal rescue video. Do what you can to stop someone from mistreating an animal. However, be sensible and don’t put yourself in danger. If necessary, seek help from other witnesses.
  3. Report animal cruelty, abuse or neglect. If you think you see an animal in distress or suffering, report it immediately by contacting your local RSPCA or police station. Learn more about what you can to do help injured wildlife in Australia here.
  4. Teach your children to have respect for animals. Set a good example by being respectful towards animals. Show children how to treat animals with love and consideration. Help them to grow up to become the next generation of advocates for animals.
  5. Demand stricter laws for the protection of animals. Stronger animal welfare laws and harsher penalties will lead to fewer cruelty cases.
  6. Shelter an animal in need. You can be the helping hand that an animal need. An animal that has been mistreated needs support, sometimes immediately. You can make a real difference by taking an animal out of a harmful situation.
  7. Consider that neglect of animals can be closely linked to domestic violence. Animal abuse and domestic abuse are often closely connected. By reporting your suspicions, you may also be helping both the animal in need and the family concerned. See also “The link between cruelty to animals and violence to humans”.
  8. Educate people around you about the issue. Help people to understand that they can intervene in situations where animals are being neglected or even tormented. Animals have a right to live without fear or pain, and we have a responsibility to step in if their rights aren’t respected.
  9. Offer help to people who are overwhelmed with their animal. Animals aren’t necessarily neglected out of a lack of love. An owner may not have the psychological resources to provide an animal with the appropriate care. Whatever the reasons may be, an affected pet must be removed from a place of neglect and given the care it needs to live and thrive. Any help you give to an animal may help a human too.
10 tips to prevent animal cruelty

The beauty of adoption

Save a life – adopt a shelter animal

It’s a way of giving a loving new home to a shelter animal – and maybe even saving its life. Find out more here.

Fake animal rescue videos

How to spot orchestrated animal rescues

Videos showing people saving animals are regularly posted on online platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. These alleged animal rescues are a scam to generate donations and make money. Find out how to spot a fake.

The puppy trade are you a victim?

The puppy trade

Have you witnessed or been a victim of the puppy trade in Australia?

Find out more about the puppy trade here. Learn how to avoid puppy trade scams.

Responsible pet ownership

Important knowledge for pet owners

Pets can be much loved members of the family, but they are also a big responsibility.

Find out about responsible pet ownership here.

Recognising signs of pain in animals

Know what to look for

Animals often hide pain, and being able to recognise signs of pain in animals is an essential aspect of responsible animal husbandry.

Find out how to recognise the signs of animals in pain.


See our guides