SPCA Amanzimtoti blames the lack of education for animal cruelty acts committed by people year-round as South Africa joins the world to observe The Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Month.Speaking to Michelle Hannan and Zakhona Mzelemu from the Amanzimtoti SPCA they shared how the month of April is used to highlight the suffering that animals go through and how animal shelters feel the outcomes of that the most. “This month is used to highlight the plight of animal shelters and to inform and educate the public about how to treat their animals as well as report acts of cruelty,” said Hannan.When asked what is animal cruelty Mzelemu said: “ Animal cruelty is not just hitting your pet, it starts from the beginning by not giving your pet its basic needs like food, water and shelter, if you fail to provide those needs for your pet you are committing the first basis of animal cruelty.” She continued to add that not being able to provide for your pet financially like paying for vaccinations, defleaing and deworming also falls under a form of animal cruelty. “Everything that you wouldn’t do to your child but do it to your dog, we consider that animal cruelty,” added Mzelemu. She also pointed out the source of animal cruelty comes mainly because of lack of education.“It’s not only you hitting your animal and tying them up but also verbally abusing and getting your animal so scared of humans that it cowers and loses itself in that, that’s when you violate the five basic freedoms of your dog,” said Hannan.The duo said that cruelty can be prevent and that Amanzimtoti SPCA holds Edupaw programmes every Saturdays where the community can go in to be educated on caring for their animals, vaccinations, sterilising and deworming pets.Both Hannan and Mzelemu share that they have had people come in the SPCA and ask specifically for a dog that is vicious and a dog that will protect them, they mentioned that some people even go as far as breaking animals basic rights just to get their pets to be vicious as that makes them feel powerful and gives the owner status. “You know, if you love your dog enough and you give it the best care possible, that dog will die for you. It will put its life on the line to protect you,” said Mzelemu.When a couple divorces Mzelemu shares how it breaks her heart that children get to either go with their father or mother but in most cases pets are brought into them and the excuse of divorce is given to them. “Animals get so attached to their families that when they bring them to us because the couple is separating we have a hard time putting the animal up for adoption because it struggles to get used to another family,” said Mzelemu.People can report animal cruelty anonymously to the Amanzimtoti SPCA and they urge that you try to get a video or pictures as proof but still report the incident immediately by calling Amanzimtoti SPCA on 031 904 2424 or 072 122 7288.