Animal Cruelty

Animal abuse has many faces and comes in many forms. It’s a dog in a puppy mill producing litter after litter of puppies. It’s an elephant or tiger forced toperform for a circus crowd. It’s a dog or rooster thrown into a pit and made to fight to the death. It’s a raccoon tortured at the hands of teenagers for “fun.” It may even be a pet in your neighborhood, which is mistreated or doesn’t get enough food, water, or attention. In short, it’s any behavior that’s harmful or life-threatening to an animal.

Why should you care? Because it’s the right thing to do. Because cruelty to animals is illegal. And because people who harm animals may also harm people. Stopping cruelty to animals helps everyone


  • Cruelty to animals is illegal in all 50 states and a felony in 44.
  • Most cruelty investigated by humane officers is unintentional neglect that can be resolved through education.
  • Intentional cruelty is knowingly depriving an animal of food, water, shelter, socialization, or veterinary care or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating, or killing an animal.
  • Intentional animal abuse is often committed by a person who feels powerless and unnoticed.
  • Some who are cruel to animals copy things they have seen or that have been done to them.
  • Others see harming an animal as a way to get revenge on someone who cares about that animal.
  • Studies indicate that in homes where animal abuse takes place, child and spouse abuse are often occurring as well.