Understanding Animal Cruelty Law

A look at animal cruelty laws

A look at animal cruelty laws

Animal cruelty can be classified into two classes – deliberate cruelty and neglect. Neglect means that you have failed to sufficiently provide for your animals, shelter, medication, food, water and other essential care. Starving and failing to vaccinate your pets are examples of neglect. Deliberate cruelty refers to intentional physical harm, for example, maiming an animal.  In the United States, animal cruelty is a felony and can result in jail time and monetary fines. However conviction of animal cruelty may differ depending on the jurisdiction.

What Does the Animal Cruelty Law Prohibit?

The animal cruelty law is primarily designed to safeguard domesticated pets (i.e. cats and dogs), farm animals (i.e. pigs, horses, goats and sheep) and wild animals. Under the law, you are prohibited from:

–          Maliciously mutilating, wounding or torturing an animal. Intentional killing of an animal is also forbidden under this act.

–          Intentionally overworking, tormenting, overdriving or depriving your animal of food. The law also bars you from beating or subjecting your animal to unnecessary suffering.

–          Threatening or endangering different animal species. For instance, invading the habitat of protected birds, fish or mammals is a criminal offense.

There are also particular activities, which have over the years have been included in the animal cruelty law. For example, it is illegal to:

–          Poison an animal.

–          Leave an animal unattended to.

–          Engage in dog fighting.

–          Participate in cockfighting.

–          Take part in bullfighting.

–          Declaw an exotic wild cat.

–          Sell puppies that are less than eight weeks old.

–          Shorten the tail of a horse.

If you own a pet store and fail to properly care for the animals, you can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Failure to take proper measures when transporting animals, for example, cattle can result in you being charged for animal cruelty.

Penalties for Animal Cruelty

The penalties for animal cruelty will differ from one state to the other. However, jail sentences and fines are standard in most states. For example:

–          You can be jailed for up to 3 years in a state prison and fined up to $20,000.00 in California if you are convicted of animal cruelty.

–          Under the Animal Welfare Act in San Antonio, you can be fined a maximum of $50,000.00 or jailed for up to four years if you are found guilty of animal cruelty.

In most states, animal cruelty is a grave offense. Understanding the state laws, which govern animal cruelty, will enable you to avoid jail time and hefty fines.



How to Keep Your Home Insurance Premiums Low

How to Keep Your Home Insurance Premiums Low

How to Keep Your Home Insurance Premiums Low

Like auto insurance, there are a couple of things that you can do in order to keep your home insurance premiums low. For example, you can qualify for discounted home insurance premiums by raising your deductibles and making your home disaster-proof. Additional cost-cutting measures that you can adopt include, bolstering your home security and improving your credit score.

1. Increase Your Deductibles

This is the sum of money, which you have to pay before an insurance company can settle your claim. A higher deductible automatically equates to a lower insurance premium. This is because you’ll be paying for most of the losses from your pocket

2. Make Your Home Disaster Resistant

Increasing the resistance of your home to natural disasters such as windstorms, earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes can result in reduced homeowner’s insurance premiums. This can be achieved by:

–          Installing storm-resistant shutters. This helps in averting the risk of flying glasses in case of a windstorm or hurricane.

–          Cleaning the gutters. This is important in preventing instances of clogging that may cause damming on the roof. Gutter cleaning also helps in getting rid of debris, which may ignite in the event of a forest fire.

–          Sealing the attic and other crawlspaces. The use of metal mesh screens is crucial in blocking flying embers from getting into you home if there is a bushfire.

3. Boost Your Home Security

Improving the security of your home through the installation of burglar alarms, surveillance security cameras and dead-bolt locks can lower your home insurance premiums. This is because you have taken the steps to protect your home from external assailants.

However you also need to go a step further and safeguard your home from internal threats. For instance:

–          Install and maintain a smoke detector. This helps in protecting your home from the risk of fire and smoke damage.

–          Install a fire alarm that instantly alerts the fire department. This lowers the odds of your home being destroyed by fire in the event that you are away on a business or holiday trip.

4. Improve Your Credit Score

Credit score not only affects how much you’ll pay in home insurance premiums, but the type of policy you can purchase. This is because your credit rating determines your risk level. According to numerous studies, persons with poor credit scores are more likely to file a claim.

Understanding the factors that affect your homeowner’s insurance premiums will enable you to save. However they’ll also ensure that your home is protected from internal and external hazards.

4 Essential Things to Do Before Moving to a New House

Before You Move Into a New House

Before You Move Into a New House

Moving to a new house can be exciting. But the enthusiasm can be overshadowed by lack of preparedness. For example, failing to inform service providers like phone companies of your new address will result in unpaid bills. Failure to make arrangement for someone to look after your children and pets can cause you a lot of inconvenience on the moving day because they’ll need to be fed. Sorting and purging will allow you to get rid of items that you no longer need. Returning borrowed items will ensure the accuracy of the moving estimate.

1. Sort and Purge

This task allows you to dispose of household items, which you are no longer using. For instance, you may have electronics, furniture, utensils and workout equipment that are occupying much of your storage space. Instead of transferring them to your new house, you can give them out to friends or charitable
organizations. Consequently, you will be able to throw away clutter that may make your new house appear disorganized.

2. Return Borrowed Items and Collect Lent Items

If you are intending to hire a moving company, it is important that you collect all the stuff you loaned out to friends and return everything you might have rented in the past. When providing you with a moving estimate, a mover will base their assessment on what they can see.  So if there is a lawn mower that isn’t supposed to be there during the appraisal stage, you’ll end up paying more for the service.

3. Inform Your Service Providers of the Change of Address

Without informing your service providers of a change of address, your bills will continue to be mailed to the previous address. Consequently, you may end up with overdue car loans and credit card bills. To ensure timely delivery of your mails, notify service providers of the new address at least 3-4 weeks before moving to your new house.

4. Arrange for Your Children to be Cared for

Make prior arrangements for a friend or relative to look after your children and pets. If you don’t have someone that you can rely on, you can take your children to a daycare center. Pets like dogs can be taken to a dog boarding kennel. This is because tending to your kids while at the same time supervising the packing and loading of your household items into a moving truck can be challenging.

Moving to a new house can be stressful. However, advance preparation can lessen the agony commonly associated with the process.

Using CRM Systems to Automate Business Processes and Boost Customer Satisfaction

Customer Relationship Management System

Customer Relationship Management System

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is basically a business strategy that not only enables you to strengthen customer service, but increase employee productivity. However, businesses worldwide are fast realizing that they can also take advantage of CRM to increase customer satisfaction in addition to enticing new customers, an element that is important in boosting business revenues. Consequently, of CRM is not just limited to software application, but also encompasses business strategy.

How Customer Relationship Management System Works

Before looking at how to use CRM to increase customer satisfaction and manage overhead costs, it is important to first of all understand how the Customer Relationship Management system functions.

In a nutshell, CRM functions by collecting and breaking down data about customers. The analyzed data can then be used to make crucial business decisions. An ideal example of CRM is the discount card or loyalty card used by market leading supermarkets. Whenever a customer makes purchases at any of the chains of the retail store that issued the card, the discount card is scanned and the items bought automatically captured and entered into a database. This in turn provides the business with accurate information about what certain class of customers prefers.

The data collected can be analyzed by the business further with an aim of improving marketing strategies which is important in increasing sales. Ideally, what a Customer Relationship Management does is to bring the business closer to its customers.

Yet, CRM is also extremely useful in regards to customer service. Automated Customer Relationship Management systems can be utilized by businesses to:

–          Thoroughly analyze customer complaints.

–          Transform business processes appropriately.

–          Act as a virtual assistant.

–          Validate verbal transactions and resolve disputes.

There are a myriad of other things that an automated CRM system can enable you to do. But in a nutshell, Customer Relationship Management is important in solving problems, deterring possible bottlenecks and streamlining workflow. As a result, your business will become more efficient besides increasing customer satisfaction.

How to Use CRM to Automate Customer Interaction

With an effective automated system, customers do not need to spend money calling a call center with an aim of making routine enquiries. Notwithstanding what a customer needs, he/she should be able to get it quickly and effortlessly. As a result, you will not only be improving customer service standards, but freeing up valuable resources.

The following are some of the ways through which an automated customer interaction system can enable you to better look out after your customers:

–          Reducing call center burden by at least a third. Combining speech recognition with interactive voice response will allow your business to automatically manage up to 30 percent of routine incoming calls.

–          Making it easy for your customers to find what they want (e.g. account balance and parcel pickup) quickly through interactive voice response.

–          Personalizing customer service according to needs. For example, you can speedup transactions by providing customers with choices which are applicable to them.

How to Use CRM to Increase Employee Productivity

Besides getting you closer to your customers, Customer Relationship Management can also enable you to increase employee productivity. Everyday tasks like data transfer can be easily automated, thus providing your employees with more valuable time to manage high value transactions which are important in increasing sales and profits. Automated business processes like call recording help in quickly resolving disputes in addition to providing you with the data you can use to enhance call handling.

Other added benefits of Customer Relationship Management in regards to increasing employee productivity include:

–          Increases the precision of business forecasting as well as scheduling. This in turn eliminates the need to manually convey information between applications.

–          Increases employee output by queuing workflow elements, for example, problem tickets and then transferring them to personnel with the necessary skills.

–          Transferring incoming calls to personnel that are best equipped with the right expertise and tools.

How to Choose the Best Chicago Deportation Lawyer

How-to-Choose-the-Best-Chicago -Deportation-LawyerHiring an experienced and skilled Chicago Deportation Lawyer when facing deportation or removal charges can enable you to get temporary or permanent relief depending on the gravity of the charges leveled against you. An immigration attorney will help you with a myriad of issues ranging from green cards and visas to immigration and naturalization.

US immigration laws are not only complex, but difficult. The matter is even compounded further by the fact that laws differ from one stated to the other. Therefore, if you are a layman, you may find it difficult to fully comprehend the immigration laws used in Chicago, Illinois.

A deportation and removal defense attorney will furnish you with good explanation regarding the legal process in addition to the formalities that are specific to your case. The Chicago Immigration Attorney will also update you on the current and previous laws that may be applied during the legal proceedings.

You will require the services of a skilled Chicago Deportation Lawyer if:

–          You are thinking of filing an appeal for a green card.

–          You are thinking of applying for a visitor, student or work visa.

–          You would like to avoid deportation or removal from Chicago, IL.

A majority of deportation defense attorneys in Chicago are candid and hardworking experts who have the desire to assist you. Nevertheless, you need to exercise extreme caution when searching for a reputable deportation law firm in Chicago Illinois. There are a number of immigration attorneys who are not only dishonest, but unreliable and liars. Such attorneys will charge ridiculous fees for their services and take you in endless circles.

So what do you need to keep in mind when searching for a reputable Chicago Deportation Lawyer? Listed below are tips on how to pick the right immigration attorney in Chicago:

Tip 1: Looks Can Be Deceiving

Just because an attorney is dressed in a luxurious and expensive suit does not mean that he/she is an excellent deportation and removal attorney. More than often, exclusive and expensive dressing is an indication of the high fees charged by the attorney.

Therefore, dressing should not be one of the factors taken into consideration when searching for a reputable deportation and removal defense attorney in Chicago. Instead, do a thorough background research on the law firm in order to determine if the attorneys working there have the capacity to give you the best representation.

Tip 2: Misleading Advice

Be on the lookout for attorneys whose aim is only to make money out of you. The instant a Chicago Deportation Lawyer urges you to record an untruthful statement, know that you are not getting the best representation. Do not put your trust in such a lawyer. If you have already contracted their services, terminate it immediately.

Tip 3: Watch Out for Visa Consultants

Visa consultants are not immigration lawyers. These are simply professionals whose aim is to target foreigners who are in need of experts to assist them with their immigration problems. A visa consultant is only good at typing and arranging papers.

Note that, with the help of the internet, you can get gather all the documents you require for your visa or green card application. However, when it comes to issues to do with deportation and removal, it is crucial that you hire a reputable Chicago Deportation Lawyer.

Tip 4: Avoid Lawyers Who Approach You When At the Immigration Office

The best place to look for business when it comes to immigration issues is at the immigration offices in Chicago. Lawyers are aware of this and as such are always preying on unsuspecting clients. Do not hire a deportation defense attorney who you met at the immigration office. A reputable removal attorney is always busy and do not have time to scout for clients at local immigration offices. Instead, opt for an attorney that has been recommended to you.

Tip 5: An Attorney Who Guarantees You Unrealistic Promises

Note that, only an immigration judge has the power to decide whether or not to deport you from the United States. The function of the Department of Homeland Defense (DHD) is to instigate deportation or removal proceedings against you. They do not have the mandate to deport or remove you from Chicago, IL. The same applies to deportation & removal lawyers.

Therefore, do not enter into any agreement with a Chicago Deportation Lawyer who claims to guarantee you deportation/removal relief. Even the most experienced immigration attorneys in the United States cannot guarantee you temporary or permanent relief. The prerogative of granting an application for asylum, cancelation of removal or adjustment of status lies on the presiding immigration judge.

Tip 6: Talk to Several Immigration Law Firms

The key to selecting the best deportation and removal attorney in Chicago is talking to several attorneys. Reputable law firms do not charge for initial consultation. As such, you should be able to schedule for a meeting with at least 4 to 5 immigration attorneys before picking the right one.

Advantages of Proper Waste Management

The amount of wastes being created on a daily basis from industries and homes are simply enormous. As such, there is need for proper waste management so as to minimize environment degradation as well as the spread of diseases as a result of pollution. Unfortunately, in spite of the numerous laws in place, proper waste disposal is increasingly becoming an issue. The consumption rate increases at the same proportion as the population growth. As such, the government is finding it hard to manage waste disposal with its current resources.

Then again, waste management is not the responsibility of the government, but the burden of every consumer. Listed below, are some of the benefits of proper waste management to the community as a whole.

#1: Hygiene

Foremost, it is important to point out that residential wastes comprise of food as well as other organic elements which tend to attract different kinds of scavengers. Dogs, cats, raccoons, rats, rabbits and other animals often tear open garbage bags in search for food. The result is strewn wastes all over the place. The situation is aggravated further when there is a disease outbreak. However, this can be avoided by having proper waste management system

#2: Aesthetics

Besides preventing disease outbreak, proper waste management helps with improving the image of your neighbourhood and city as a whole. Tourists are less likely to visit a city or province where there is heaps of garbage. The foul smell can make life a living hell for people who are used to clean and fresh air.

Packing Boxes – Benefits & Smart Purchasing Tips

Moving houses can be a painful and stressful experience. Most people often find themselves shopping for new household items after completing a move due to breakages and damages. But there is a way through which you can ensure the safety of your household stuff. Packing boxes are specially designed to enable you arrange personal effects and other fragile items in a safe and secure way. Hence, before moving houses, you need to make sure that the packaging has been done properly.

Moving boxes are available in the market in different sizes, shapes and thickness. The type of packing box selected will depend on your needs. Discussed herein, are some of the benefits of using moving boxes whilst moving and how to make sure that you are making an informed decision while purchasing a packing box.

Benefits of Using Packing Boxes

Packaging crates provide your personal belongings with a safe and secure environment whilst being transported from one location to the other. The crates are padded on the inside thereby cushioning the items packed therein from bumps and knocks while on the road. This in turn makes them suitable for packing fragile items such as laptops, microwaves, computers, dressing mirrors, upholstered furniture and television.

Moving boxes are affordable since they are manufactured from recycled materials. While most moving companies offer packing boxes at a fee, you are better off purchasing your own packing crates, especially if you anticipate moving houses or offices in the future. The amount of money spent in acquiring packing boxes cannot be compared to what you’ll spend when replacing and repairing damaged household assets.

Flexibility is the other reason for buying packaging crates. As pointed out earlier, packing boxes are accessible in the market in different sizes, shapes and padding. Therefore, you can purchase a rigid packaging crate that will prevent your furniture and other household items from getting grazed or broken whilst being transported. Then again, there are packing boxes that can be fully wrapped round an object, thus offering maximum protection.

Lastly, it’s easy to pack and seal items inside a packaging box. You can either use a glue or tape to seal the top of the packaging box. Then again, if you are looking for rigidity, you can use staples to secure the packaging boxes.

Tips for Buying Moving Boxes

Listed below, are some of the factors which you need to keep in mind whilst shopping for the best packing boxes:

–          The size of the selected packaging boxes should be able to accommodate the items intended for them.

–          If you are transporting fragile items like wine glasses, television, refrigerators and computers, make use of specially designed moving boxes.

–          Note the breadth and strength of the packaging boxes that you are buying. The heavier the packing box, the better protection it provides.

–          If you are looking for affordability and variety whilst shopping for moving boxes, consider making your purchase online. As a matter of fact, there are online stores that offer cheap but quality second-hand packaging boxes.

Before hurrying through your next move, consider the advantages of using packaging boxes listed herein and buy packing boxes that suit your needs.


Chinese Economy vs. US Economy

Red Mao vs. GreenbackWho needs the other more, the US or China? While the US has continually stated that its economy is solid, available facts have proved otherwise. Today, China is the principal bearer of the US government debt.

Why is China so important to the US economy?

The United States need China for 2 main reasons:

–          China is the leading source of low-cost factory-made goods.

–          China is the prime holder of the federal government debt.

Nobody thought much of the Chinese economy two decades ago. As a matter of fact, a majority of people thought that the Japanese economy would eclipse the US economy. However, this is not the case as the Chinese are fast rising and taking over the world.

China has managed to liberalize its economy since the 70s. The nation is not only open to foreign investors, but is also assertively following economic growth. While China is still a fairly poor nation, globalization has enabled the coastal regions to develop by leaps and bounds.

What makes China important to the US economy?

Each time Chinese manufacturers transport their merchandizes to the US, they are paid in US dollars. They then give these dollars to their government in exchange for Chinese Yuan. In return, the Chinese government uses the US dollars to purchase US Treasury debts. Consequently, China has become the biggest sole proprietor of Treasury debt. By opting to invest so much cash in treasury bonds, the Chinese government has singlehandedly managed to minimize the interest rates which the US government has to pay.

The million dollar question therefore is, “Will China have a say in US matters in a few years to come?”

Finding My Flipside

Being my very first blog post, I thought it would be better if I started with something simpler – Finding your flipside. “Every problem or an obstacle contains an opportunity as big, and sometimes bigger than the problem itself”. This is a layman’s definition to the term flipside. This week, I embarked on a self-discovery journey to find my flipside. It’s my prayer that I will find it sooner rather than later.