Michelle Cho is “special projects manager for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” You can see her in the latest episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, convincing Khloe to pose nude for PETA. Her role at PETA is to enlist celebrity support for their campaigns.
Animal cruelty is prevalent across the country in both rural and urban areas and cuts across socioeconomic boundaries.
While a perusal of media reports reveals a shocking number of daily cruelty cases, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Even more cases—including those that are never reported to law enforcement—never make media headlines.
On a daily basis, The HSUS, local animal shelters and local animal control deal with an onslaught of animal abuse cases ranging from neglected and chained animals to gruesome, violent attacks on animals.
Although a national reporting system for animal abuse cases does not yet exist, media reports of animal abuse cases suggest that animal abuse is prevalent across the United States. Based on media reports, we can review the issue of animal cruelty in terms of:
Most Common victims
In media-reported animal cruelty cases, dogs are the most common victims of animal cruelty. Pit bulls, in particular, constitute an increasing percentage of victimized animals.
According to the American Horse Council, Americans own more than 9 million horses, up from more than 6 million in the mid-1990s. Back yard breeding fueled the boom in demand for pet horses. More than 2 million Americans own horses, and more than one-third of those owners have a household income of less than $50,000.
As HSUS investigations into slaughterhouses and cattle auctions have revealed, animal abuse is abound in the factory farm industry.
Despite increased feed prices, we found no indication in the news media that the number of livestock neglect cases is increasing, other than a few shocking, high-profile cases. This may, however, simply be a reflection of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state animal cruelty laws.
Many states specifically exclude livestock or any "common" agricultural practices from their cruelty laws, and even when good laws exist, it can sometimes be difficult to convince law enforcement to make an arrest and/or to seize agricultural animals who are being neglected or abused.
An examination of government data measuring intimate partner violence and scholarly studies of the prevalence of animal cruelty in such cases reveals a staggering number of animals are victimized by abusive partners each year.
Here are some great animal organizations. When considering a pet, remember to make pet adoption your first option.