Animal Abuse/Neglect

By: Yasira Smith


What would you do if you saw someone hurting an animal? Most of you probably would not know what you should REALLY do. I will be talking to you about animal abuse and cruelty. Specifically, I will discuss cats and dogs being abused, because they are the most abused domestic animals. Domestic means that these are types of animals you can have in your home. Animal cruelty can be either deliberate abuse or simply the failure to take care of an animal. Either way, and whether the animal is a pet, a farm animal, or wildlife, the victim can suffer terribly.


Neglect is not giving an animal the right food, water, shelter or vet care. Because their misery goes on for so long, animals who die of neglect can suffer just as much as animals who are harmed on purpose. The shocking number of cruelty cases reported daily in the media is only the tip of the iceberg. Most cases are never reported, and most animal suffering goes unrecognized and unabated. Although there is no national reporting system for animal abuse, media reports suggest that it is common in rural and urban areas.

Most Common Victims

In media-reported animal cruelty cases, dogs—and pit bull-type dogs, in particular—are the most common victims of animal cruelty. Of 1,880 cruelty cases reported in the media in 2007:

  • 64.5% (1,212) involved dogs

  • 18% (337) involved cats

  • 25% (470) involved other animals

11 Facts About Animal Cruelty

  1. A Canadian Police study found that 70 percent of people arrested for animal cruelty had past records of other violent crimes.
  2. Snakes and lizards are skinned alive because of the belief that live flaying makes leather suppler.
  3. 4 to 5 million animals die in shelters every year.
  4. Neglect and abandonment are the most common forms of companion animal abuse in the United States.
  5. Tens of thousands of horses from the United States are slaughtered every year to be used for horsemeat in Europe and Asia.
  6. More than 100 million animals every year suffer and die in cruel chemical, drug, food and cosmetic tests, biology lessons, etc.
  7. Chaining dogs, while unfortunately legal in most areas, is one of the cruelest punishments imaginable for social animals.
  8. Dogs used for fighting are chained, taunted, and starved to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggressiveness.
  9. Dogs that lose fights (or refuse) are often abandoned, tortured, set on fire, electrocuted, shot, drowned, or beaten to death.
  10. For medical experimentation animals can be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged.
  11. Each year, approximately 10,000 bulls die in bullfights.

Animal Cruelty Laws

The legal definition of animal abuse differs from state to state; however the sentiment is the same. According to the Sequoia Humane Society, any person found to have intentionally overworked, tortured, tormented or wounded any living animal is in violation of the state's animal cruelty laws. The laws also extend to anyone who knowingly or neglectfully deprives an animal of food, water or shelter. Persons are also prohibited from cruelly beating or killing an animal. These crimes, depending on the state, are punishable as either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the severity of the situation. Owners of animals raised for fighting are also in violation of these laws. Lastly, the abandonment of animals is also a crime and is covered under animal cruelty laws: torturing an animal, transporting or confining an animal in a cruel manner, killing, seriously injuring, or poisoning an animal, causing an animal to fight with another, using a live animal as a lure in a dog race, tripping a horse, injuring an animal belonging to another; seriously overworking an animal, failing to provide necessary food, care or shelter, or unreasonably abandoning an animal. The state of Texas also has criminal laws that specifically prohibit dog fighting.


Animal abuse is out there and is a crime committed in many ways. A lot of abuse is coming from many different kinds of people with different kinds of reasoning’s behind why the abuse took place. No matter how the abuse or why the abuse took place there are still laws that deal with animal abuse.