Animal Cruelty Needs to Stop

Henrina Zhang, Staff Writer

According to Pet Pedia, over 10 million animals in the U.S. are abused to death every year. From cruelty to neglect, these poor creatures are undeserving of the brutality humans inflict on them. According to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, 4 out of 5 animal cruelty cases go unreported. Even if they are reported, people rarely get penalized for their crimes against animals.

In addition, the sheer amount of animal cruelty cases animals are taken less seriously than they should be. Every 60 seconds, one animal suffers abuse, and more than 115 million animals are used for laboratory experiments yearly, according to Pet Pedia. Animals need to be treated with more respect, and punishments need to be more severe for the people who abuse them.

Animal abuse has become more widespread than ever. It isn’t about being rich or poor,—animal abuse is not unique to one part of the world or another. 

“Cruelty and neglect cross all social and economic boundaries and media reports suggest that animal abuse is common in both rural and urban areas,” said Humane Society International (HSI). 

Animal cruelty is separated into two categories, active and passive. Active cruelty is the act of deliberately hurting an animal. Usually, this intentional infliction of harm is the most repulsive, including acts like mutilation, physical trauma, animal testing, and sexual abuse. Passive cruelty, or the neglect of animals, is another type of abuse.  Hoarding, which is keeping an abnormal number of animals that aren’t provided for their basic needs, is a form of passive cruelty that affects a quarter-million animals per year, noted by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. From starvation to dehydration to infections, many animals die from extreme neglect and abuse due to human ignorance. If there was more education on how to properly take care of and treat animals, perhaps the animals would face a little less cruelty. More can be read about passive cruelty statistics at Pet Helpful.

Intentional cruelty against animals often indicates the potential of one to incite violence on othersespecially domestic violence and child abuse. Many people who abuse animals show sociopathic tendencies, torturing animals as their first step. For example, Animal Legal Defense Fund mentions how 88% of homes investigated for child abuse also discovered animal abuse. It also includes a study that concluded that 43% of criminals who committed school massacres were also animal abusers.  

Organized cruelty is another unspeakably disgusting act of animal abuse. These crimes, like dogfighting and cockfighting, reflect how some people view organized violence as entertainment. There is absolutely no appeal in paying money to watch animals tear each other apart; it’s unethical and pathetic. Yet, some of the public, from professional fights to street ones, still enjoy such shows. It is especially a significant source of income for gangs and drug traffickers, as people pay fees and wage money on organized violence. There needs to be more activity within law enforcement to put a stop to this nonsense. Although animals have the basic rights of liberty, and there are organizations to safeguard wildlife, they are primarily viewed as property and have little legal rights of their own.

To prevent animal cruelty, it really is up to us. With teaching respect to animals to reporting any cases of animal abuse, working together is the best option. Offering to shelter an animal in need may also be an efficient way to reduce animal cruelty. 

For any situations of animal abuse or neglect, calling animal control or local law enforcement would be the best choice. When in doubt, call Wildlife Rescue at 830-336-2725, because you never know when you might be the hero that saves a life.