By Nathyn Edson

Animal cruelty can either be deliberate or unintended neglect. Whether the animal is a household pet, farm animal, or wildlife, the victim will go through agony and suffering. Animal abuse happens every day below the watch of society. Even though it is illegal and shunned, still, today there are animal fighting rings, ill-treated cattle, domestic animal abuse, laboratory abuse, and many other undocumented cases of abuse. All around the world people are taking animals for granted and their rights are being neglected. Someone needs to stand up and be the voice for these animals.

Dogs that are involved in illegal fighting rings have either fatal or severely injuring consequences. There is an outrageous number of reports dealing with illegal animal fighting rings, but there are many other undocumented cases that go unnoticed. Even though all 50 states have laws to prevent animal abuse, it can only be stopped if these cases are reported and there are people to enforce these laws.

Our beef industry is plagued with animal abuse. The cows that are used for the factories are mistreated. To mark the animals for identification, the animals are restrained and a red hot iron brands a symbol into the animals skin. Without pain medication, the male calves have their testicles ripped off and adult males have their horns either cut or burned off. Many cattle die from infection, disease, or injury because they do not receive adequate veterinary support. In places with extreme weather conditions, countless cattle freeze to death and collapse from heat stroke. According to an article on the PETA website called “The Beef Industry,” after a period of time, cattle are auctioned and shipped hundreds of miles to enormous feedlots where they are held in pens by the thousands, forced to wallow in feces and mud, many arriving crippled and even dead. They have an unnatural diet, consisting of mainly corn, that causes many intestinal issues such as potentially fatal liver abscesses, bloating so extreme that it impairs breathing, stomach ulcers, and salmonella.

Although many domesticated animals are loved and taken care of, many owners either intentionally or unintentionally neglect their pets. Apart from physical abuse, many animals are not given the opportunity to partake in natural behaviors, and are confined to human homes. Many animals are restricted to only eating, drinking, and urinating upon command, unable to freely go about their day. An innumerable amount of animals are tied to chains day and night, forced to face the elements without shelter unless they are confined to wire cages. Many cats have the tips of their paws cut off through a painful process called declawing. Besides neglect, many animals are physically abused. According to PETA’s website, there are many horrible cases of animal abuse such as kittens being thrown out the window of a moving car, animals being shot with arrows, hurt by firecrackers, set on fire, used as bait for dog fights, mouths being taped shut with duct tape, and even cooked in a microwave ovens. There are people who think that they are teaching the animal a lesson for any misbehavior, but many abusers have mental issues that need to be addressed.

 Animal abuse happens everywhere around the world. Although we cannot find and stop every case of animal abuse, we can spread awareness that this can be happening next door. If we report these cases to the authorities then the amount of people committing animal abuse will dwindle. When looking for animal abuse, take note of weight, the environmental conditions they are put in, the quality of food and water they are given, and any injuries that you may see. If you suspect someone is abusing their or anyone else’s animals, please call the police, county animal control, or a local humane society such as Greenhill Humane Society (541-689-1503).