There Are MANY Different Kinds Animal Cruelty...

      1. NEGLECT
The most common type of animal cruelty is neglect or abandonment - that is, people not providing adequate care for animals in their charge. These types of cases often involve situations where an animal is left without food, water or shelter, or when proper veterinary care was not obtained. In many of these cases, the underlying reason can sometimes be explained by the caretaker's ignorance. This is why many animal control officers and humane law enforcement officers will first attempt to educate the neglectful caretaker, rather than immediately citing them or arresting them.

While ignorance can be blamed in some of these situations, an additional cause that seems to be a major contributor to neglect and abandonment cases is that the pet owner simply does not care. Even people with only the most basic knowledge of animal care can see that an animal has degenerated to the point where it is only skin and bones.

Many times, animals are purchased as pets, and simply forgotten about. Animals in this situation however do not merely gather dust. They are slowly starved or dehydrated to death, literally bled dry due to parasite infestations, or slowly garroted by their own collars.
  1. EMACIATED: Ribs, backbones, pelvic bones, etc. all prominent from a distance. No visible body fat, obvious loss of muscle mass.

  2. VERY THIN: Ribs, backbones, pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Minimal loss of muscle mass.

  3. THIN: Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Top of backbone visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.

  4. UNDERWEIGHT: Ribs easily palpable with no visible fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.

  5. IDEAL: Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from side.

  6. OVERWEIGHT: Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernable viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.

  7. HEAVY: Ribs palpable with difficulty, heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be absent.

  8. OBESE: Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over backbone and base of tail. No waist or abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.

  9. GROSSLY OBESE: Massive fat deposits on chest, spine, and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and legs. Obvious abdominal distension.
Illegal animal fighting is a blood-sport in which animals are specifically bred and trained to fight each other within an enclosed pit or ring, for the benefit of individuals who place bets on the animal they believe will win. The fights are extremely brutal, with animals often fighting to the death.

In addition to the extremely violent nature of the animal cruelty involved, illegal animal fighting events almost always include other criminal activity, such as gambling, drugs, prostitution and illegal firearms. (Large amounts of money exchange hands during these gambling events, and where there is money, there are guns and other weapons present.)

Additionally, it is quite common for children to be used during these events, often as runners for the betting process. This brings up the obvious issue of exposing children to illegal activities, and it also contributes to their de-sensitivity to violence as they are exposed to these brutal and bloody scenes of animals ripping each other to pieces for money. Quite often, during a dog or cockfighting bust, these young runners are overlooked during the questioning process - which is part of what makes them desirable to use from an illegal animal fighter's standpoint.

      3. HOARDING

Animal hoarding, sometimes referred to as "collecting", continues to struggle with public misconceptions. Members of the community and even law enforcement often view hoarders to be "someone who meant well but the situation got out of hand," conjuring images of the sweet cat lady down the street.

While their intentions may indeed have been good, the reality of hoarding is far from sweet, and is often quite horrific. Hoarders often have hundreds of animals in their home, living in filth and without veterinary care. It is not uncommon to discover several hundred animals in various states of neglect at one location. It is also very common to find vast collections of other junk and garbage on the premises, as well as many layers of feces throughout the home.

In the majority of hoarding cases, the hoarder firmly believes not only that they have done nothing wrong, but that the animals cannot survive without their "care". In many instances, hoarders will even be reluctant to relinquish the decomposing corpses of animals that died. Dead animals are frequently found in the freezer or refrigerator, or even laying around the house, embedded in the carpeting, etc. At times, dead animals have been left in the home so long that they have become mummified.

Hoarders may feel that they "love" animals, but they can be blind to the fact that they are not caring for them responsibly even in the face of starvation and death. Hoarders are usually unable to bear the thought of euthanasia, but vast numbers of animals are "saved" only to languish in a squalid, crowded environment where they suffer from malnourishment, illness, inactivity, poor ventilation, and lack of human companionship. Dogs and cats have been found kept in cages, crates, hutches, and even kitchen cabinets, some even being allowed to breed. Hoarders often cannot afford to pay for all the spaying and neutering (not to mention the routine veterinary care) needed for so many animals, so their collection grows until the filth, stench, and noise attract the attention of neighbors or health, sanitation, or humane officials. In some situations, the homes of animal hoarders are so run-down and filthy that the local Department of Health actually orders their homes razed to the ground.

                4. POISONING AND SHOOTING
Poisonings and shootings are the most common types of animal abuse we see in cases where a cat or dog was permitted to roam the neighborhood, either deliberately or by accident. All animal cruelty is tragic, but cases involving the shooting or poisoning of a companion animal are often even more tragic because in most situations, the act could have been prevented.

Individuals who allow their animal companions to go outside unsupervised are putting those animals in very real danger of being harmed by people who are irritated by animals' barking, defecating in yards, digging in flowerbeds, or bothering other animals. Those who are left alone in fenced-in yards or tethered at the end of chain are at the mercy of cruel neighbors or passersby who may maliciously harm them. It is imperative that pet owners supervise animals' time outdoors and ensure the safety of the animals they care for by taking them for walks on a leash, visiting parks, or playing in a safe, secure yardtogether.


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