Children are beaten until their bodies no longer heal, they are scalded with boiling water, they are starved and so dehydrated that their skin shrivels around their fragile bones, they are sexually assaulted and forced to perform all sorts of perverted acts, and they are locked in closets or tied to bed posts for days on end (Koster and Swisher).
Should animals have to go through pain and suffering? Should they have to go without food and/or water? The answer is no. Animal abuse happens everyday and it happens because people are barbarous or because they don’t know how to take the best care of an animal that they have. Whatever the reason it’s still not right and will never be okay. This paper will cover a brief history of animal abuse, the statistics, the signs of animal abuse, and what can be done to stop animal abuse. Animal abuse needs to end for the animals that can’t speak for themselves.
The effects of child abuse can be long lasting or maybe even fatal. “The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect estimates that 2.9 million children are abused or neglected by parents or caretakers each year” (“Child Abuse” Encarta). This fact is very disturbing to the many of us that don’t know child abuse was this common in the U.S.
Pet ownership has reached an all time high in the Untied States. The 2005/2006 APPMA National Pet Owners Survey reports that sixty-three percent of all U.S households own at least one pet, and half of these same households own more than one. These statistics translate to estimates that Americans own over seventy-three million dogs and over ninety million cats (“National”). As the number of pets in the United States rises, so do the cases of animal abuse. Animal abuse isn’t something new, but only recently has there been any research on the motives behind animal abuse. Due to a significant boost in the research of animal abuse cases, and a new emphasis on the reasons behind animal abuse, there have been some remarkable discoveries in just the last ten years. There’s one breakthrough in particular that has become a cornerstone in the effort to try to reduce the number of animal abuse cases each year; studies across the country have found that animal abuse and domestic abuse are directly linked. There are numerous studies that have tried to dig deeper into this connection, because if we are able to better understand what motivates people to abuse animals, we may be able to prevent animal abuse before it happens.
The term “animal cruelty” or “animal abuse” refers to a wide range of different topics and interpretations based on personal views and beliefs, however there are some things that are unarguably cruel. One type of abuse that many people do not seem to realize is abuse is called “passive cruelty” (pet-abuse.com). This includes neglect such as “starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, allowing a collar to grow into an animal's skin, inadequate shelter in extreme weather conditions, and failure to seek veterinary care when an animal needs medical attention.” Many times the person investigating may feel the abuse has “occurred as a result of ignorance” and “may attempt to educate the pet owner and then revisit the situation to check for improvements.” However in extreme cases the “animal is removed from the site immediately and taken in for urgent medical care.”
Violent acts against animals are considered recognized as indicators of a disease of the psyche that is not limited to animals. Many studies conducted by sociologists and psychologists suggest that animal abuse cases deserve more attention than they get. Why are these research results so important? These cases prove that animal abuse is not just a personality problem that can be fixed so easily, it is a symptom of mental disturbances in the abuser. Psychology and sociology research also suggests that animal abuse is usually a sign that the abuser must get psychological help because it is extremely likely that their anger will only get stronger and they could eventually hurt humans as well. Studies of psychiatric patients who have tortured dogs and cats shows that they had very high levels of aggression towards people as well.
Animal abuse is a quiet epidemic that is spreading throughout the world. The amount of animal abuse is growing and we must do something to stop it. Animal abuse is not putting a choke collar on a dog to keep it from biting an individual; it is not killing an animal for food. Animal abuse is the knowing or intentional "(1) tortures or serious overworks [of] an animal"; the "(2) failing unreasonably to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in his custody; kills, injures, or administers poison to an animal; [or] (6) causes one animal to fight with another" (Title 3). The majority of states in the U.S. classify abusive treatment toward animals as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punished by a fine of $0- $4000, and a sentence of 0 days to one year in prison. The majority of offenders are charged with a fine and several days in prison. Studies have shown that cruelty to animals can lead to more serious criminal actions. Because of this, abusers should not just punished, but put through mandatory mental therapy and rehabilitation to prevent future offenses. The laws on animal abuse should also be increased from a misdemeanor to a felony in order to dissuade such cruel actions.
Many of the types of animal abuse are: dog fighting, cock fighting, animals used for testing products, inhumane methods of killing such as gas chambers, slaughtering, hoarding, sexual abuse, and confinement hunting (C. Smith, personal communication, 17 October 2011). These are just a few types and there are many more. Some people cause animal suffering intentionally because they enjoy it, while others abuse animals through carelessness (“Animal Cruelty Facts” 1). It is said that, “A person can be cruel passively or inactively simply by omitting to take some form of action” (“Animal Cruelty Facts” 1)...
Faver, Cathrine A., Strand, Elizabeth B. “Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty: Untangling The Web of Abuse.” EBSCO. EBSCO. 2003. Print. 19 Nov. 2013.
Children all over America anguish from an unexposed epidemic of child abuse. Every year more than three million reports are made in the United States alone. . More than six million children are involved in child abuse cases (a case can involve more than one child), and these are some of their stories. The major long-term effects of child abuse on children are psychological disorders, injuries, and fatality