Animal Cruelty is a Crime!

Cruelty to animals in any form whether they are pets or not, encompasses a wide array of topics and situations. So, there are no simple solutions to this real crime. Most normal people would prefer to believe such a thing does not exist. But, unfortunately it is far too common.

Wikipedia defines it as: “the infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense.” Some segments of society include use of animals for food or fur as forms of abuse and would have everybody become vegetarians. In more basic terms, it simply means cruel unwarranted treatment of animals.

Experts say there are many reasons why someone might abuse an animal. But, honestly…are there any legitimate excuses? The same experts also say animal cruelty comes in two forms: active and passive. Passive cruelty usually concerns a lack of action, or to put it bluntly, pure neglect. In these cases, lack of action is an action. Passive cruelty can be starvation, depriving them of water, allowing parasite infestations, not providing adequate shelter in extreme weather or withholding medical attention.

Active cruelty is when someone deliberately causes harm to an animal. These acts are generally malicious and extremely brutal. The medical community generally agrees anyone committing such an act should be viewed as having serious psychological problems and possibly a sociopathic disorder. In many cases these acts are closely associated with domestic violence in the home.

Animal abuse is a real crime punishable by stiff penalties. However, in some cases of neglect it may be determined an abusive act was not intentional but done out of ignorance. In such cases owners are educated and follow-ups are conducted to ensure the situation improves. If there is no improvement, or the situation worsens, the animal may be immediately removed and necessary medical attention provided.

The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has recently revealed some eye opening facts about the treatment of circus animals. According to their reports, they regularly indulge in animal cruelty. In many circuses, animals are trained by intimidation and physical abuse. PETA claims there is no overseeing organization to investigate animal training, which many view as being a form of cruel torture, or check on their upkeep. Circus animals are also routinely exposed to various diseases.

Fortunately animal-protection laws have been instituted, mostly in the last 50 years. However, these laws do not always consider an animal’s true biological and social needs. Each day, calls from a concerned public are made about activities that may be considered cruel, but may not violate any law. One of the most common concerns dogs continuously chained. Although the dog is fed and watered and is in otherwise good condition, its’ only contact with another living being is at feeding time. Dogs are social animals and need companionship. Does this constitute a violation of any laws? No, but obviously it isn’t morally right.

On the other hand, there are activities involving animals which are blatantly against the law. Two examples would be cock and dog fights. But, there are other atrocities. There have been cases where animals and pets have literally been beaten, starved, hung, shot and killed by their owners. These are the obvious examples.

However, there are many instances not as well known. Many cosmetic companies routinely use animals in laboratories for conducting research. And then there are commercial pet farms. There have been horror stories written about what happens behind the scenes. Some dogs and cats were kept in cages with chicken or similar type of wire used as flooring. This often cut these animals’ paws to where they bled and sometimes became infected. This is not to mention the unsanitary conditions they were maintained in. Both of the above led to the death of many. There are countless other violations which could be included here. But the question is what can be done about it? Plenty! For one thing they can be reported to the proper authorities. However, it must be done properly.

The first step is to evaluate a situation. Maybe what appears to be a case of neglect might not be. Just because food and water bowls are not seen does not mean they are not being provided. Many owners opt to keep these inside out of reach of insects or other pests. Or maybe there is an animal door out of sight.

But, there are signs to indicate abuse is present. What about collar size…is it too tight? Not increasing the size of a collar along with an animals’ growth can cause strangulation. A pet which is not regularly groomed, particularly long haired ones can result in massive matting of its coat, which can lead to sores.

Mange is another concern. It is caused by parasites and leads to hair loss, sores and excessive scratching. This condition can be treated with medicated baths. The question is, has the owner given the animal one?

Starvation is a self evident problem, but it can also be caused by worms and an improper diet. This can also be readily alleviated. But again, will the owner do anything about it?

Once a definite abuse situation has been identified report it to a local animal control, police department or humane society. If an investigation proves abuse or neglect, authorities will decide how to best help the animal. However, don't try to rescue a pet yourself. This is illegal and besides it won’t deter the owner from simply getting another pet to abuse, or educating them to be responsible owners.

It’s important to know local anti-cruelty laws since they can vary by state, city or county. The legal definitions and penalties may also be different. Many states have added felony penalties to their anti-cruelty laws. And be advised, once an incident has been reported investigating officers may not be able to discuss the case.

The key to prevention is education and stronger anti-cruelty laws. Schedule a speaker from a local humane agency to talk at churches, clubs, children's groups, day-care centers and schools.

This article is dedicated to Lucky Cats.

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Comments 20 comments

bbyphat profile image

bbyphat 5 years ago

yes they should stop animal abuse cuz i rescue anmial that was getting hit and bitten and now the anmail is doing good we should animal abuse im with yay

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

John, I an floored, amazed and honored! Before I reached the end of this fabulous and well written, well researched article, I had already determined that I would share it, like it and, in any way possible, spread your excellent work far and wide. To have finished reading (with joy and thankfulness) your discover the dedication is beyond being a is a blessing.

What can one say? That you do understand..that you have heard and, in your own individual way, using finely tuned and intelligent means supported by sharply honed 'investigative' prowess, you have authored an instructive hub which details a great concern of mine.

Your last paragraph of ways in which to combat animal cruelty is essential information and thorough in every way. Teaching is of utmost importance.

Again, I am truly honored...and speechless (can you imagine that?).

Thank you, John...JY!! If I were a cat, I'd be purring and kneading with all my heart.

Of course, and it goes w/out saying but....all the positive buttons UP...


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

When I got the idea for this story, I thought of you. It's no secret you are a big animal lover. I admire what you do for them. Can't help but love ya.

PETER LUMETTA profile image


John, this was a very touching and timely article. Good Work, Peter

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Thanks Peter. I wrote another one kind of similar about a year ago.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I think animal abuse is just horrible. Your hub may help educate people as to how much abuse is actually happening at any given time. Excellent informative hub, rated up.

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Thank you Pam. I always look forward to your comments.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

John...I just have to say thank you, again, for this magnificant hub. Everything is said; either in word or picture. Truly, I had to revisit (again and again) and, each time, I swear, my emotions are stirred, heart beating faster and tears welling in my eyes. thank you, my friend. For this effort..for this information and for having the heart to report.

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author


I am concerned about these things the same as you. I have a sister in Virginia Beach who is very much like you in this regard. She has two very old dogs, one with cancer and a bad leg. She also has 4 cats, 2 of which were rescued. She runs a rescue center there which she and her husband set up. There is an article on it somewhere in my massive archives. I am glad the story had such a profound effect on you. Maybe it will on others also.

We Save Cats profile image

We Save Cats 5 years ago from SE Kansas

Thank you JY3502 for this compelling piece about animal cruelty. I tried to like this and share it so that it would be circulated even more but, my friend Kathy and I share the same computer and it isn't allowing me to share because she already did. She's Lucky Cats. And we both thank you. Does it show on your site that she shared this? She's concerned that it didn't go through. Again, thank you JY3502 for doing writing this.

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Yes, it certainly did. And I appreciate it greatly.

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evlwman 5 years ago

Thank you for writing this hub, "Big Brother" For the record, all 4 of our cats were rescues, 2 of them were brought to us when they were only a day old and we bottle fed them. The other 2 were part of a litter we rescued a couple years ago, but due to special needs we did not place them for adoption. Our German Shepherd is a rescue from hurricane Katrina, and the old black lab was rescued from animal control when the owners decided not to treat him for cancer. We also provide foster care for animals waiting to be placed so the number of animals in our home changes on a weekly basis!

We run an all volunteer animal shelter for pets at risk. The expenses are overwhelming, just keeping the facility open is a struggle we face everyday. It is nearly impossible to turn away an animal who is brought to us when the poor creature has been severely abused and neglected. Our volunteers help nurse them back to health and provide lots of TLC until we find an adoptive family to give them a forever home.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where many consider pets to be disposable property. When the little puppy or kitten isn't cute anymore, they are put out on the streets or sent to the pound where death is a certainty. I hope your article will help bring more attention and awareness to their plight.

Just shared your hub on my page.

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Thank you Sis,

I'm glad you wrote this comment. It is a story all unto itself. You should add another comment and include contact information in case anyone wants to help your center.(((hugs))))

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

John, is evlwman your sister? Wonderful comment and, absolutely fabulous work! Bless you and thank goodness for you, evlwman!

I posted fan mail and "follow evlwman" but now I see, the site indicates "no longer exists." This is a shame; her efforts and care for animals is a great service and very good information for all who care about animal abuse, animal care and how to be good stewards of this earth.

She certainly speaks for me!!!! in attitude and experiences regarding caring for animals.

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Lucky, you can read about evlwman on my hub "Finding a Long Lost Sister After 50 years." She isn't a member of hubpages is why you couldn't follow her. You can read about her center on my hub:

sonia05 profile image

sonia05 5 years ago from india

Animal cruelty and abuse is a sad reality. I feel bad for animals subjected to abuse and ill treatment. Its just not pets but stray animals too. Often when we stop someone from ill treating an animal,the matter is aggravated and ends in a quarrel as it happened with me one day. I was walking to the nearby market when a speeding car purposefully hit a cow. The cow yelped and started to run away.I just could not believe such insensitivity. I shouted at them and hated to see their laughing faces. They stopped the car,reversed it and came back to quarrel with me!!! Imagine their audacity!!! I was alone and they were three guys! We shouted at each other for few minutes and then I thought of helping the cow. The cow thankfully seemed unhurt but was scared and was hiding behind a tree. Its just not the cows but dogs and cats who bear the brunt of people's insensitivity.

The need of the hour is stern anti-cruelity laws to be made in all countries for protection of rights of animals.

great and thought provoking hub! Thank you for sharing!

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Thanks for stopping to comment Sonia.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

And this is dedicated to John aka JY3502 of the great state of South Carolina. Thank you my friend for writing this. Heard it said you can judge a country by how it treats its aged folks and dependent animals. Oh Boy.

ninjagametutorial profile image

ninjagametutorial 5 years ago from Calgary

I am very against animal cruelty. In fact I am donating 50% of my adsence revenue to the ASPCA if you want to learn more go to my other hub

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