The shocking number of animal cruelty cases reported every day is just the tip of the iceberg; most cases are never reported.
Cruelty and neglect cross all social and economic boundaries and media reports suggest that animal abuse is common in both rural and urban areas.
# Intentional cruelty to animals is strongly correlated with other crimes, including violence against people.
# Hoarding behavior often victimizes animals. Sufferers of a hoarding disorder may impose severe neglect on animals by housing far more than they are able to adequately take care of. Serious animal neglect (such as hoarding) is often an indicator of people in need of social or mental health services.
# Surveys suggest that those who intentionally abuse animals are predominantly men under 30, while those involved in animal hoarding are more likely to be women over 60.
MOST COMMON VICTIMS
The animals whose abuse is most often reported are dogs, cats, horses and livestock. Based on the 1,423 U.S. cruelty cases on pet-abuse.com’s 2011 digest in which species of the victim was specified:
70.1% involved dogs.
20.9% involved cats.
24.1% involved other animals.
Undercover investigations have revealed that animal abuse abounds in the factory farm industry. But because of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state cruelty laws, only the most shocking cases are reported, and few are ever prosecuted.
FEW FACTS ABOUT CRUELTY
1. Thousands of greyhounds die each year—some in the name of “selective breeding”—before they ever touch a racetrack. Many dogs do not make it to the nominal “retirement” age of 4 or 5.
2. More than 50% the fur in the US comes from China, where millions of dogs and cats are often bled to death and skinned alive for their fur. Chinese fur is often mislabeled, so if you wear any fur, there’s no sure way of knowing whose skin you’re in.
3. It’s been estimated that there are 900 to 2,000 new cases every year of animal hoarding in the US, with 250,000 animals falling victim.