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What are the

Causes of

Animal Abuse?

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Animal Abuse, why it happens and what you can do.
By: Baby & T. C. Kitty Cat

Animal abuse is a worldwide silent epidemic that goes
largely unnoticed until it is too late. The definition of
animal abuse is the act of intentionally causing the deprivation
of shelter, water, food, socialization, medical care or even
maiming, torturing, mutilating or killing an animal.

Animal cruelty covers a vast range of behaviors that are
harmful to animals. Cruelty ranges from neglect to malicious
killing of animals. In the United States and many other
countries humane officers of the law investigate animal
cruelty cases.

In some cases animals are used as test subjects for
different chemicals and substances that will eventually be
used on humans. This type of treatment of animals is legal
although there are many groups trying to stop it and make it

For info on testing on animals see our,
Feb 04 issue on Animal Testing

We also have an entire section of our site devoted to
Pet Law and animal welfare laws.

In other cases people have deliberately abused and tortured
an animal for the purpose of making the animal fight for
gambling and "entertainment". This is highly illegal and
there are serious punishments that go along with this type
of animal abuse.

Neglect and animal cruelty usually go hand in hand. In most
neglect cases the problem is unintentional neglect through a
lack of education about an animal and the issue can be
easily corrected.

The most common cause of animal neglect is irresponsible
owners who do not spay or neuter their pets despite the free
clinics and financial help offered by animal-aid non-profits
and who often then end up with unwanted baby animals that
eventually are neglected, stray or dead from diseases or

Another common cause of animal neglect is the impulse
purchase of baby animals that they become a burden or a bore
when they mature. Responsible, mature people understand that
if you don't want or can't care for a pet you should find it
a good home or at least contact one of the many shelters
available in most parts of the world. They know that animals
are not toys and that a pet owner is responsible to see that
the animal gets what it needs to survive and thrive.

Never ever bring home a pet without understanding what type
of animal the pet is, what the pet requires and other
pertinent information such as the proper diet and housing,
how long it will live, etc. You need to educate yourself
before bringing a pet home. That pet depends on you to live,
you should at least learn about the animal to give it proper
care. Often people bring home pets thinking that they will
basically take care of themselves. This is very definitely
not the case; even an independent cat requires care from its

Some people believe that tying a dog up in the backyard all
the time or keeping an animal alone in a kennel or pen
continually is acceptable behavior. It is not. This is abuse
even if you are giving the animal plenty of water, food and
shelter. The animal still needs socialization. If you work
at a job that requires long hours you should look into an
animal baby sitter or some other equivalent. Or don't have
an animal that requires care and attention.

Your pet is your responsibility and its life and well-being
depend on you as its caregiver. Never ever give a pet as a
gift unless the person you are giving it to is aware that
you are giving them a pet and you both educate yourselves
about the care of the pet. If that person ends up not being
able to care for that pet be ready to take care of it
yourself. If neglect of an animal is taking place it is
always the fault of the animal's owner. Heavy fines or even
jail time, and loss of the animal to an agency may be the

Real cases of animal torture and worse are all too
prevalent. The psychological causes of such animal cruelty
are complicated and will be discussed in another article.

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