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. Don’t despair, though—anyone can take steps against cruelty.
People with emotional problems may beat, shoot, or stab animals or set them on fire. Those who abuse animals are very likely to be violent to other people—even their own family—too.
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.
All U.S. states have animal cruelty laws, and 47 states treat some forms of abuse as felonies. Farmers and researchers can do cruel things to animals that other people can't do legally, but all states have some protection for pets like dogs and cats.
News & Events
November 26, 2013
The Gates County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Office called in The HSUS, SPCA of Wake County, and SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina to rescue approximately 40 dogs and 75 other animals from a suspected puppy mill.
November 19, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for throwing four kittens and the mother cat from a car on I-15 north of Salt Lake City, Utah, killing three animals.
November 4, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the killing and decapitation of a cat in Great Bend, Kan.
November 1, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the series of cruel sheep mutilations in Port Lavaca, Texas.
October 23, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance to prohibit the use of bullhooks and other tools to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants used in circuses and traveling shows to take effect in three years.
August 8, 2013
A bill to increase penalties for extreme animal neglect is now law in New Jersey. "Patrick's Law," was named in honor of Patrick, a young dog who endured severe neglect and was found almost starved to death. Patrick's suffering has become emblematic of the need for New Jersey to treat extreme animal neglect with the seriousness it deserves.
July 1, 2013
Kennel owners and operators who commit acts of animal cruelty could be charged with a felony on a first offense, under a bill known as "Nitro's Law" passed by the Ohio legislature.
June 20, 2013
The New Jersey Legislature passed two bills that will strengthen New Jersey's cruelty laws by increasing penalties for extreme animal neglect and will allow certain veterinary students to engage in supervised veterinary activities. The Humane Society of the United States urges Gov. Chris Christie to sign both bills into law.