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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!

Learn More

News & Events

  • April 23, 2014

    Reward Offered in Illegal Fawn Shooting in Douglas County, Oregon

    The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally shooting a fawn in Douglas County, Ore.

  • April 18, 2014

    Six Sea Lions Killed at Bonneville Dam

    This week, six California sea lions were killed at Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River simply for doing what comes naturally – eating fish.

  • April 14, 2014

    Joan Jett Wants Rhode Island to Protect Elephants from Abuse

    Joan Jett, on the heels of her performance with Nirvana at the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, penned a letter urging lawmakers in Rhode Island to ban inhumane elephant training devices.

  • March 25, 2014

    Animal Protection Group Partners With Paramount Pictures

    The Humane Society of the United States is proud to announce a partnership with Paramount Pictures on the theatrical release of Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming film “Noah,” in theaters on March 28, 2014.

More News & Events

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