How to Help a Neglected Animal

Seeing an animal suffering can be painful, especially when you feel as if you can't help. It could be anything, from a class pet to a neighbor's breeding animal. This article will help you speak up, and help make the animal's life better.


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    Assess the situation. Is the animal really suffering, or is it just in a less-than-perfect environment? Do your research, and make sure that the animal is actually denied it's needs. Make sure you research the size of cage it should be in, food it should be getting, and any additional information. Make sure you assess the condition based on the breed or species of animals. Some animals, for instance, are agoraphobic, and need a smaller space. Be prepared with an argument for the animal should you confront its owner. It often helps to rate the distress from 1-10 to better understand it's need. Does it need immediate help, or can it wait a few weeks?
  2. 2
    Find evidence. Pictures, detailed descriptions, and videos can be extremely valuable when seeking help from authorities or other people.
  3. 3
    Decide what you are going to do next. You have three options: call the animal control, help the animal yourself, or ignore the animal. Above anything, try helping it yourself since a shelter environment could potentially be deadly. However, if you do call the animal control you need not continue. The rest of the article will show you how to confront the issue yourself.
  4. 4
    Prepare yourself to take on the animal. This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy all the things, but make sure that you know this may result in you keeping the animal: even for a short time. The owner may just be glad to be rid of the animal, and thrust it onto you. Finding a home for an animal can be easy though, so do not be intimidated.
  5. 5
    Confront the owner. First priority is safety, but if you believe the person is safe, confront them. Explain to them that you are looking for the type of animal they own, and that you would like to buy it off of them. Offer the amount of money that you are willing to give. If you are not financially prepared, don't worry about it.
  6. 6
    Offer the amount of money that you are willing to give. If you are not financially prepared, don't worry about it. This is simply an extra step to boost you in the right direction.
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    Explain that the animal would have a good home with you/you'd find it a good home. Chances are, the owner was neglecting it because they didn't want it anymore. They will often offer it up willingly. In another case, they may realize their fault by themselves and change the animal's environment. Thirdly, they may get angry with you. If they do, respect their space and leave them alone. Your safety is worth more than an animal.
  8. 8
    If they still refuse to help the animal, explain to them what they are doing wrong. Educate them and show them how the quality of life for the animal is not ideal. Maybe offer to buy bigger housing or supplies if you are financially able, to improve for the animal. They may see what they're doing wrong and give you the animal or improve it's housing and feed.
  9. 9
    If you manage to get the animal, take it home. Immediately do all you can to make it more comfortable. If it is a carnivorous mammal, make sure it is friendly and not aggressive. If the animal is malnourished and underweight, do not let it eat as much as it wishes. This can overstretch its stomach and cause serious problems. Feed it in small increments compared to what an animal of it's type generally eats. If possible, try to feed the animal the same type of food it was previously eating, and gradually add in the type it would ideally be fed with, to prevent the animal from getting ill. Keep it hydrated. If it is a bird, do not let it out. Transfer it gently into a bigger cage. Make sure the animal is safe, and not overly stressed. The animal will be thankful for the relief.
  10. 10
    Seek advice from a trusted friend or vet. Make sure the animal is in good health, and has its need cared for. Do this by researching the health of the specific animal, and making sure it is up to standards. If anything is amiss, do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian. However, if it passes away, rest peacefully knowing that it felt comfort and love in its final moments.
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    Consider whether to "rehome or rehab". If you're finding a new home for the animal, make sure that it goes to someone who will care for it properly. Don't let it go back into a life of abuse. Don't give puppies and kittens away to someone you don't trust for free. Make sure you trust the person.
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    Rehab the animal if you choose to keep it. Give it the best life possible. Involve it in fun activities, give it enrichment, and keep it healthy. Allow the animal to live the life it deserved. Remember, this is a big commitment, especially if the animal does not know how to function in better living conditions. Also remember that the animal may not be "normal". The animal, depending on the situation, may be scared of certain people, activities, or objects. Try to make the animal as comfortable as possible to ensure it does not undergo any further trauma.
  13. 13
    Be proud of yourself! You just saved an animal!


  • Stay calm and diplomatic.
  • Make sure you are still good with the person you took the animal from afterwards. People make mistakes; forgive and forget.
  • Share your animal rescue story with others to encourage them to stand up for animals near them.


  • Owners may be dangerous, and can sue. Make sure you are on good terms before attempting to help the animal.
  • Some animals may be dangerous.

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Categories: Animal Welfare Activism