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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.


Take Action Against Animal Cruelty

If you think an animal is being abused, either through violence or through cruel neglect, you can take action to help!

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