August 2, 2010
Animal abuse has become a very alarming problem across the country in today’s society. Every day, animals are being neglected and abused and it is rapidly growing in our country. Just knowing the signs of animal abuse and neglect can help make a difference to the animals. Animal abuse or cruelty is the harm, suffering or infliction on an animal for purposes other than self defense. “Animal cruelty can be to deliberately abuse or just simply the failure to take care of the animals that you own” (“animal abuse and”, n.d). Cruelty to an animal can be done in a lot of different ways and can have a lot of different consequences that will follow. There are two types of animal cruelty, passive or omission and active or commission. “The first is Passive cruelty or acts of omission cruelty. Passive cruelty can be described by cases of neglect, where the crime is caused by a lack of action instead of the action itself” (Gianotto, 2001). Some examples would be: “starvation, dehydration, parasite infestation, a collar growing into the skin of the animal, not having proper shelter for the weather conditions, and finally, not seeking veterinary care” (Gianotto, 2001) when the animal is in need of medical attention. Some of these things many may not have been thought of as being forms of cruelty, but they are very true and many people may have been responsible for a couple of these, not knowing that they were hurting the animals. But does that make them an abuser? It certainly does not, if it has only happened once and the situation that the animal is in has changed. To the true activist, this is criminal and very wrong. “ If the investigator of the department feels that the cruelty occurred out of ignorance, they may feel the need to educate the pet owner on the matter, then come back later to see if any improvements were made in the situation”( Gianotto, 2001). There are even times the animal has to be removed and then treated medically because the case was severe. Another form of abuse is active cruelty or acts of commission. “Active cruelty means that there is malicious intent where a person has deliberately and intentionally harmed the animal, sometimes called NAI (non-accidental injury). These acts of cruelty are sometimes very disturbing and can be a good sign of serious psychological problems with the individual or individuals involved in the matter. Sometimes this behavior is linked with sociopathic behaviors and should be dealt with and taken very seriously” (Gianotto, 2001). There is a link between abuse in the home and with the animals themselves. Usually, if the abuser is hurting the animals, they are also hurting a family member or someone else. Many times with violence in the home of the abuser, they will kill or threaten to kill household pets to frighten family members into sexual abuse. This will cause them to remain silent about past or present abuse. Sometimes, they even do this to mentally torture their victims by extending their power over the victim or victims. This is no way to treat an animal or the victim of these heinous crimes. The statistics of animal abuse for 2010 in the United States alone are “15,841 cases” (Gianotto, 2001) that were reported and the numbers are continuing to rise rapidly every day. In 2007, the in-media reported that “of the 1,880 cruelty cases” (Gianotto, 2001). Out of the cases “64.5% which is 1,212 involved dogs, 18% or 337 involved were cats and the other 25% or 470 had involved other animals”( Gianotto, 2001). Out of this alarming number, pit bulls are the ones being abused the most because of dog fighting and they make up most of the numbers for canines. Stevecat511(2002) from zootoo.com states that “The HSUS (Humane Society united states) estimates that nearly one million animals a year are abused or killed in connection with domestic violence cases”. Most of the animals being abused, come...