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Cruelty and neglect

Neglect, a failure to provide basic needs for an animal, makes up the vast majority of cruelty cases that animal control officers respond to. Neglect often includes hoarding, lack of shelter or veterinary care, tethering and abandonment, as well as other forms of abuse. Direct abuse is, for example, someone beating or physically attacking an animal. Organized cruelty includes dogfighting, cockfighting, and often go hand in hand with other crimes. 

  • From chained to cherished

    When Sweet Jasmine was rescued in the 2007 raid of football player Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation, she was so terrified that she spent the first days after her rescue hiding in a little tent inside her kennel at the Washington Animal Rescue League. After Catalina Stirling adopted her, for a while the dog had to be carried outside for bathroom breaks, so frightened was she of the world that—until then—hadn’t treated her well.

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  • Taking the measure of cruelty

    FBI elevates status of animal cruelty in national crime tracking system.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Cruelty and neglect

  • Magazine Article

    Soup for skittish souls

    Coconut (left) was initially the most emotionally damaged dog from this Michigan puppy mill rescue, says the ASPCA’s Kristen Collins, but in 2013, she graduated from the nonprofit’s behavioral rehabilitation program with flying colors.

    Canine rehab research results in permanent facility and mentorship program

    In June 2010, the ASPCA assisted local authorities in Tennessee with a hoarding case, racing in the blistering heat to catch, assess and transport 100 dogs to partner shelters.

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  • Magazine Article

    When animal rescue isn't

    In 2011, 150 dogs and 50 cats were seized from nonprofit Dirty Sally’s Pet Pals.

    Some groups that claim to be helping animals are actually hurting them

    At Montgomery County Animal Services in Maryland, cruelty investigator Jack Breckenridge thumps a single arrest warrant onto his desk. The stack of paper is an inch thick.

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  • Magazine Article

    Don’t buy into that doggie in the window

    Author Rory Kress and her dog, Izzie.

    In new book, journalist investigates the cruel, complicated puppy mill industry

    Journalist, Emmy-winning television producer and author Rory Kress loves her Wheaton terrier, Izzie, and originally thought nothing of purchasing the USDA-licensed pup at a pet store. But a few years later and a few years wiser, Kress embarked on a yearlong, nationwide investigation into the origins of pet store dogs like her own.

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