Animal Cruelty, a Persistent & Sad Enduring Legacy

Why is Animal Cruelty Rising and How to Help

There are a few things in this world that tug at your heartstrings in the worst way; something you just can’t bear to witness. One of those things for almost all of us is animal cruelty. Even though it appears cases of animal abuse are on the rise, the truth is actually a lot more troubling. In this article, we will talk more about animal cruelty, why it appears to be rising, and what you can do to help.

Why is Animal Cruelty Rising?

If you were to look at the statistics of animal cruelty, it would appear as if it’s on the rise. However, the truth is, we don’t really know. Before 2016, law enforcement listed animal abuse in the “other offenses category”; meaning there was no way to actually track the incidences. Thankfully, since then, law enforcement using the National Incident Based Reporting System has started tracking animal cruelty as its own offense. Though, that also means there is not a lot of data to track. It is possible that the incidences have not gone up or even lessened over time but we don’t really know. Even still, FBI studies from this data have concluded that there is no discernable pattern among animal abusers at this time.
The Humane Society agrees, stating that animal cruelty and neglect cross all social and economic boundaries. Studies also suggest that animal abuse is common in both rural and urban areas. While the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) also estimates that nearly 1 million animals a year are abused, they also include the fact that most cases are never reported. The HSUS has been looking into the reasons people abuse animals and what type of people do it since long before the FBI. However, most of these are gathered from voluntary surveys and other studies.

Who Abuses Animals?

It can be hard to fathom that there are people out there who intentionally abuse animals. The HSUS reports that dogs, cats, horses, and livestock are among the most commonly reported. There is also a correlation with domestic abuse. From a survey, 71% of domestic abuse victims reported that their pet was also a target for abuse. Similarly, in families where child abuse had been reported, pet abuse had also been recorded in 88% of those situations.
Animal cruelty can encompass many different acts. However, the most common are unintentional abuse in the form of neglect (such as hoarders) and intentional abuse. Surveys done by the HSUS show that those who intentionally abuse animals are predominantly men under 30 years old. While those who unintentionally abuse them by hoarding are generally women over 60 years old.

How You Can Help

Animal cruelty is one of the worse things a person can do. It is a vile act to a defenseless creature that has no means to speak for itself. That’s why one of the best ways you can help is to report any cases of animal abuse or neglect you come across. Most cases of animal abuse go unreported. It’s imperative to call your local police department or animal control if you know an animal is being abused or neglected.
Some other things you can do to help include adopting or fostering animals from your local shelter, humane society, or rescue organization and donating to them. You can also donate to national organizations such as the Humane Society, ASPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society. By doing your part to report animal cruelty, adopt and foster pets, and donate to organizations, you are helping speak for all of the animals out there that can’t speak for themselves. Thank you!