Animal Neglect

March 28, 2012
Animal cruelty can happen in two ways: cruelty through an action or cruelty through the lack of action. Neglect is defined as giving little or no food, water, shelter, and medical care. It happens the most in the United States, being 32.4% of all animal cruelty cases. Most of the time, it is caused by the owner's lack of knowledge. That is why the first attempt by animal cruelty investigators is to educate the owner. Other times, the owner just doesn't care at all. Pets are bought and forgotten. They can die from starvation, dehydration, parasite infections, or strangulation from too tight collars. Animal neglect can be caused by one person or by a business like a puppy mill.

There is not a real legal term for a puppy mill. It is most commonly defined as a large-scaled commercial operation that breeds dogs for profit. The dogs in puppy mills are in complete neglect. They live in overcrowded, tiny, dirty conditions; the cage they live in happens to be where they eat, sleep, and excrete. Females are bred every time they are in heat and spend their whole lives either pregnant or nursing. They can have 60 puppies in a lifetime; when they are too old to breed, they are simply killed. The puppies are exposed to all diseases. All the dogs spend their lives 24/7 in a cage without enough shelter, food, exercise, attention, or medical care. The dogs have bad teeth, matted fur, overgrown nails, and eye and ear infections. They are hungry, sick, and in pain everyday. Puppies are weaned and separated too early from its littermates.

Puppy mills are technically legal in all 50 states. In some cases, puppy mills are not completely illegal. Legally, dogs can be confined in cages for their entire lives so long as they are given the basic care. However, puppy mills are poorly regulated. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates there are approximately 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S., but there are only 100 federal inspectors to oversee these operations. Regulations on what consists of a puppy mill are vague. Three to four million puppies are raised every year. An estimate of 2,698,176 puppies from puppy mills are sold yearly. Because the puppies raised in puppy mills develop behavior problems, they are often sent to animal shelters, which only adds to the overpopulation problem. The HSUS estimates three to four million homeless dogs and cats are killed annually. Puppy mills sell their puppies to a puppy broker who then in turn sells them to pet stores. The largest puppy broker in the United States is the Hunte Corporation in Missouri. The second largest is Lambriar, Inc. in Kansas. The Midwest U.S. has the highest number of puppy mills with Missouri having the most followed by Oklahoma, Iowa, and Arkansas. Encouraged by the government, puppy mills began as a way for farmers to make some extra money after World War ??.
Signs of a puppy mill
dirty place
breed several dogs
multiple dogs living outside in barns
doesn't care about giving puppy to a good home, therefor no questions asked
cares about money
wants to give really young puppies away; puppies have to be at least eight weeks old before they are allowed to be separated from their mother
puppies are always there

Hoarding is a complex problem to acknowledge. It's viewed as “someone who meant well but the situation got out of hand.” The hoarder absolutely believes the animals they take in need their help, which causes them to take in too many. As they take in more, the hoarder can no longer take care of the animals. While they had a good purpose in the beginning to take care of the animals, they end up neglecting them.

Hoarders have hundreds of animals in neglect. Hoarders are blindsided by the fact they can not care for the animals. They “save” animals only to have them live in a compact place, suffering from hunger, disease, idleness, and no human interaction.

Even though it shows a resemblance to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there is no real diagnosis currently. Hoarders can also pose as an animal rescue group. While most hoarders are old and mainly women, younger people and men can become hoarders too. Tufts University researchers estimate there are 700 to 2,000 new cases annually in the U.S.
Signs of an individual hoarder
have more than the normal number of pets
neglected animals
denies not being able to take care of animals
animal wastes cover floor
Signs of a rescue group run by a hoarder
do not want visitors visiting where the animals are
will not tell how many animals are in custody
no effort is made to get the animals adopted
the “enemy” is shelters and rescue organizations
animals are taken at a isolated place

Neglect is the same for an animal or for a child, to ignore or to choose not to take care of a child's basic needs. Just like animal neglect, child neglect happens the most; 52% of child abuse is physical neglect, and 12% is emotional and medical neglect.

In the U.S., the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) carries out the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to protect animals from harm. Congress first passed the AWA in 1966 and has reinforced in 1970, 1976, 1985, and 1990. Each state has its own laws too. Every country has different laws dealing with animal welfare. Welfare is the state of well being which basic needs are met.

To be able to create animal welfare laws was a struggle for centuries. The first laws to pass were in Britain when in 1824, the first welfare society formed. Today, known as the RSPCA, it is the oldest animal protection organization. The ASPCA was formed in 1866 in the U.S., inspired by the RSPCA. Since then, there are more than 6,000 animal welfare organizations around the world.

Currently, there are T.V. shows about animal investigators and the law. On Animal Planet, they show “Animal Precinct”, “Animal Cops”, and the “Animal Planet Heroes” series.
Animal Cruelty
Percentage
Crime
32.40%
Neglected
11.60%
Shot
11.50%
Chocked/suffocated
9.30%
Poisoned
7.00%
Beaten
2.40%
Hunted/ Thrown away
2.30%
Stabbed
2.20%
Burned/Drowned
1.90%
Burn from caustic substance
1.80%
Fighting
1.40%
Unlawful trading


The most commonly mistreated:
1. Horses
2. Livestock
3. Dogs
4. Cats
5. Birds

Shelters euthanize over 13 million pets in the U.S. every year. They put down more than 27,000 animals every day. That is 1,000 animals put to sleep every hour, almost one every minute every hour. Only 12 to 14 percent of dogs are adopted nationally. The average age of an animal entering a shelter is between 6 to 18 months. 85% of people want a dog younger than one year old. According to the ASPCA, owning a medium sized dog costs about $695 annually, which includes food, medical bills, insurance, treats, and license.





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