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(Investigating) 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 > (Investigating) Cruelty and neglect

  • 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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  • Magazine Article

    Making the case against animal cruelty

    Animal control and humane law enforcement officers in some jurisdictions can now play a key role in developing a database of national and regional animal cruelty statistics.

    New manual helps officers report incidents to the FBI

    The evidence couldn’t have been clearer, because the perpetrator videotaped his crimes on his phone. In one video, the man wraps his girlfriend’s cat in duct tape and taunts the animal. The other recording, dated three weeks later, shows the same man beating his girlfriend so badly she would end up in the hospital. (Fortunately, the cat and the woman survived.)

    Both videos were disturbing, says Chris Brosan, former manager of strategic campaigns and special projects at The HSUS. But only one of the crimes—the assault on the girlfriend—would appear in national crime statistics.

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  • Magazine Article

    True grit

    Working menial jobs at factory farms, puppy mills and other abusive businesses, undercover investigators document cruelties that are hidden from most of the world.

    Undercover investigators confront the challenges of a life in the shadows

    Many animal advocates dream of working as an undercover investigator: on the front lines, exposing hidden abuses and fomenting reform. It's vital work, and the payoffs for animals can be huge. But not everyone has what it takes to do this physically demanding and emotionally draining job, and no one expects to survive in the field long term. Current and past investigators describe the highs and lows of a life undercover—and the personal sacrifices they made along the way.

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