What Is Animal Abuse?

Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse, animal neglect or simply animal cruelty, is the infliction by omission (animal neglect) or by commission by humans of suffering or harm upon any non-human animal, regardless of whether the act is against the law.

Forms of Animal Abuse

Animal cruelty can be broken down into two main categories: active and passive.Passive Cruelty consist of pure neglect of the animal. Although no physical abuse is involved, severe animal neglect can be very painful and even fatal to a pet. Lack of attention consist of starvation, dehydration due to lack of water, parasite infestations caused by unhealthy living conditions, poor shelter in harsh weather conditions, and lack of medical attention when needed. Active Cruelty consist of harmful and abusive actions taken towards an animal. This intentional type of abuse is the most disturbing for the simple fact that it proves to show psychological problems in a person. According to the ASPCA,the most inhumane cases of animal abuse are caused by active cruelty.

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What Can You Do To Help?

There are many ways to prevent animal cruelty. 5 easy ways are:

  1. Report animal abuse if you see it. If you witness someone abusing a dog or cat, whether they are physically abusing the animal or neglecting the animal in some way, report it to local animal control. Neglect may require an educational visit from an animal control officer. Abuse may require removal of the animal from the home. Either way, your call will guarantee a better life for the pet. The ACO’s will keep your name confidential.
  2. Understand the link between animal cruelty and domestic abuse.There is a direct link between animal abuse and other types of domestic violence, from child abuse to spousal abuse. If you suspect animal abuse in a home, your phone call could open the door to more help for the family. Animal control officers are aware of the link and if they feel there is other abuse in the home will report it to social services — and vice versa.
  3. Teach children to respect animals. Children learn how to treat animals from the adults in their lives. Be a role model and show kindness and respect to animals and the children in your life will do the same. There is a reason for promoting kindness: children who are cruel to animals often grow up to be cruel to people as well. Nip animal cruelty in the bud early on. Teach children compassion.
  4. Volunteer to help animals. One of the best ways to help animals in San Antonio right now is to become a foster family. Foster families provide temporary homes for pets that are abused, injured or sick and who need some time to recover. Your short-term and loving care could be just what a pet needs before adoption into a forever home.
  5. Support legislation that promotes kindness to animals. The Texas Humane Legislative Network will have the latest on Texas animal legislation and even provides a scorecard so you can see how your legislators vote on animal issues.

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