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
May 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 killing more than 10 pit bull puppies and discarding their bodies in Princeton, W.V.
April 30, 2013
South Dakota is the only state in the country without felony-level penalties for the most egregious acts of animal cruelty, after North Dakota lawmakers added tougher penalties for animal cruelty. Animal welfare advocates urge South Dakotan lawmakers to act quickly to bring the state in line with the rest of the country.
April 29, 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 intentionally setting fire to a kitten in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.
April 26, 2013
– The Florida Senate voted unanimously to strengthen the state’s animal cruelty law, including its animal fighting provisions. Endorsed by The Humane Society of the United States, the bill sends a clear message to animal abusers that they will face vigorous prosecution for animal fighting.
May 16, 2013
The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, in taking up the Farm Bill yesterday, approved an amendment to crackdown on spectators at animal fighting ventures, but also approved a destructive, constitutionally questionable amendment to strip states of their right to protect farm animals and other animals from exploitation and abuse.
April 5, 2013
The Humane Society of the United States honored Delaware County Deputy Prosecutor Joe E. Orick, of Muncie, Ind., with the Prosecutor Recognition Award, for successfully prosecuting Rahsaan A. Johnson for dogfighting-related charges.
January 22, 2013
Statement from State Director for Tennessee, Leighann McCollum, regarding the raid of a large cockfighting operation in Hawkins County
December 4, 2012
The HSUS applauded the U.S. Senate for approving S. 1947, the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, by a voice vote. The bipartisan legislation closes loopholes in the federal animal fighting law related to attendance at dogfights and cockfights.