The Humane Society of the United States

Animal Abuse and Neglect

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Animal cruelty can be either deliberate abuse or simply the failure to take care of an animal. Either way, and whether the animal is a pet, a farm animal or wildlife, the victim can suffer terribly. Don’t despair, though—anyone can take steps against cruelty.


Deliberate cruelty may involve beating, shooting or stabbing animals, or setting them on fire. Neglect is not giving an animal necessary food, water, shelter or vet care. Because their misery is often prolonged, animals who die of neglect can suffer just as much as animals who are deliberately harmed.

There is a well-documented link between animal cruelty and violence against people. Those who abuse animals are also likely to harm people—including their own family members.

Take Action Against Animal Cruelty

If you think an animal is being abused, either through violence or through neglect, you can take action to help.

Learn How »

Create a School Fundraiser to Help Animals»


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