Animal Cruelty

Animal abuse is a huge problem in the United States. Every day millions of animals are neglected and abused. Animals are being abandoned and are left to die, after being beaten to within an inch of life or being starved for weeks. There are a few organizations that try to prevent animal cruelty but last year alone there were 1,819 cases reported and according to the A.S.P.C.A (The American society for the prevention of cruelty to animals) there were thousands more that go unreported. But luckily there are ways that normal citizens can help, for example you can report an abuse case to a local organization and there are other organization helping, like the ASPCA.

Cruelty to animals refers to the causing animals suffering or harm as an end in mainly speaking, there are two approaches to the issue. One is Animal Welfare. There is nothing wrong with using animals for human purposes, such as food, clothing, entertainment and research, but that all of those things must be conducted in a safe and humane way that reduces unnecessary suffering or harm to the animal. Another issue is that animal rights theorists criticize this position, arguing that the words "unnecessary" and "humane" are subject to many different interpretations. They would argue that the only way to ensure protection for animals is to end their status as property, and to ensure that they are never used as possessions.

Types of cruelty:
Passive cruelty is typified by cases of neglect, where the crime is a lack of action rather than the action itself – but don’t let this term fool you. Severe animal neglect can still cause incredible pain and suffering to an animal.

Some examples of neglect are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin, improper shelter in extreme weather conditions, and failure to seek veterinary care when an animal needs medical attention.
In many cases of neglect where an investigator feels that the cruelty occurred as a result of ignorance, they may attempt to educate the pet owner and then revisit the situation to check for improvements. In more severe cases however, extreme circumstances may require that the animal be removed from the site immediately and taken in for urgent medical care.
Other type of cruelty:
Active cruelty means having malicious intent when the abuse is done, where a person has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to an animal. This is sometimes referred to as NAI (Non-Accidental Injury). Acts of intentional cruelty are often some of the most disturbing and should be considered signs of serious psychological problems. This type of behavior is often associated with sociopathic behavior and should be taken very seriously.
Animal abuse in violent homes can take many forms and can occur for many reasons. Many times a parent or domestic partner who is abusive may kill, or threaten to kill, the household pets to intimidate family members into sexual abuse, to remain silent about previous or current abuse, or simply to psychologically torture the victims, flexing their "power".

Some examples of active cruelty are beating, kicking, stabbing. But there are forms of neglect that can be classified as active cruelty. Those are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, or not giving the animal proper shelter. This is only classified as active cruelty if the owner has knowledge that the animal is suffering but chose to do nothing about it.

Neglect is the most common type of abuse – which is when people don’t provide proper care for their animals. That is why many animal control officers and humane law enforcement officers will first try to educate the ignorant, neglectful caretaker, as opposed to a purposeful neglectful caretaker, rather than immediately citing them or arresting them.
While ignorance can be the reason for the neglect in some of these situations, a more difficult cause that seems to be a major contributor to neglect and abandonment cases is that the pet owner simply does not care.
Even people with only the most basic knowledge of animal care can see that an animal has thinned and has disintegrated to the point where it is only skin and bones. Many times, animals are purchased as pets, and simply forgotten about. Animals in this situation however do not merely gather dust.
This chart shows the main steps of neglect where an animal is misfed.
  1. EMACIATED: Ribs, backbones, pelvic bones, etc. all prominent from a distance. No visible body fat, obvious loss of muscle mass.
  2. VERY THIN: Ribs, backbones, pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
  3. THIN: Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Top of backbone visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.
  4. UNDERWEIGHT: Ribs easily palpable with no visible fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
  5. IDEAL: Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from side.
  6. OVERWEIGHT: Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernable viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
  7. HEAVY: Ribs palpable with difficulty, heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be absent.
  8. OBESE: Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over backbone and base of tail. No waist or abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.
  9. GROSSLY OBESE: Massive fat deposits on chest, spine, and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and legs. Obvious abdominal distension.
Cat diagram

Dog diagram

This graph shows most of the different types of abuse. As shone on the graph Neglect is the most common type of abuse. Fortunately, neglect/Abandonment can be stopped.

This graph shows the number of abuse cases per year . As shone in the graph the abuse slowly increased over the five year periold before falling in 2006. The graph demonstrates the power of organizations to help curb abuse when they help enact laws; this graph shows how in 2006 more laws were passed and more organizations began to crack down on abusers.

This graph shows the number of abusers separated by gender. As the reader can see, males typically are much more abusive towards animals. This is probably because males try to always be top dog, the most dominant figure. And most males try to “flex” their power onto submissive animals.