Community Compassion

Community Compassion Resources and Reading Room 

Promoting Community
Compassion for Animals

There is a well-established link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence.  In almost every major act of violence, from the Columbine massacre to serial killings, authorities have found animal abuse in the perpetrator’s background.  This common origin of violence perpetrated against animals and against people makes it imperative that we teach compassion and demonstrate concern for all living things.  The link works both ways–there is a link between kindness to animals and creating nurturing relationships with others. There exist important opportunities to work with communities to teach alternative ways to care for our animals, as much mistreatment stems from neglect based on lack of information and resources–for instance, community cats, dogs that are chained/tethered outside, and dogs that are restricted from communities just because of their breed.

OAA strives to teach humane kindness to communities to enhance the human-animal bond, improve safety, and increase compassion for animals.  Long-lasting, systemic change for animals will only come by transforming the way we think about, live with, care for and protect the nonhumans with whom we share our world. 

OAA works to advance policies that promote compassion statewide such as prohibiting tethering or chaining, which would reduce dog attacks, dog fighting, nuisance barking, and cruelty complaints; promoting community cat management and trap/neuter/return (TNR), restricting leaving animals outside in extreme weather; and breed-neutral policies that advance public safety and compassion to animals. 

Increased Public Safety through Breed-Neutral Ordinances: Learn about breed discrimination and model communities that have passed breed neutral ordinances that enhance public safety and the humane treatment of animals.

Community Cat Management and Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR): Managing cat colonies and assuring all felines are spayed-neutered is the only way to humanely reduce the population of community cats while providing care.  Local community cat ordinances create government-public partnerships that support the humane treatment of community cats.

Teaching Compassion to Communities: Humane education can be defined as the teaching of compassion and empathy for all living beings and respect for their habitats.  A specific focus is children, whose awareness of emotions and others’ perspectives expands through interactive programs, inspiring them to make the world a better place.

Consequences of Chaining Dogs: Millions of dogs endure their entire lives confined outdoors affixed to collars staked to the ground.  Many are neglected and left to suffer and die while compromising public safety.  Local anti-tethering ordinances support the humane treatment of outdoor dogs while enhancing public safety.