July 21, 2011
Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics
Statistics on the victims and current legislative trends
The shocking number of cruelty cases reported daily in the media is only the tip of the iceberg. Most cases are never reported, and most animal suffering goes unrecognized and unabated.
Although there is no national reporting system for animal abuse, media reports suggest that it is common in rural and urban areas. Cruelty and neglect can also cross socio-economic boundaries.
Based on media reports, we can review animal cruelty in terms of:
Unless otherwise noted, the following statistics are compiled from pet-abuse.com.
In media-reported animal cruelty cases, dogs—and pit bull-type dogs, in particular—are the most common victims of animal cruelty. Of 1,880 cruelty cases* reported in the media in 2007:
As HSUS investigations into slaughterhouses and cattle auctions have revealed, animal abuse abounds in the factory farm industry. Despite increased feed prices, we found no indication in the news media that the number of livestock neglect cases is increasing, other than a few shocking, high-profile cases. This may, however, simply be a reflection of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state animal cruelty laws.
Government data scholarly studies of the prevalence of animal cruelty in domestic violence cases reveals a staggering number of animals are victimized by abusive partners each year.
The HSUS estimates that nearly 1 million animals a year are abused or killed in connection with domestic violence.
First vs. Second Offense
States Finding Second-Offense Laws Inadequate