Dogs are often considered as man’s best friend, but sadly, not all owners treat their canine companions with love and respect. According to various sources, dogs are the most common victims of animal abuse, accounting for 64.5% of all documented cruelty cases that are media reported. Often times animal abusers never face consequences for their actions, but in one viral video some citizens took justice into their own hands.
The footage shows the aftermath of what happened after some people found out a man was abusing a dog by dragging it around. They decided to teach him a lesson by treating him the same way he treated the defenseless animal. Apparently they put a dog chain around the man’s neck, and started dragging him around like a dog while beating him up. Honestly the people who attacked the man are lucky they didn’t break his neck, because that would have put them in more legal trouble than the man abusing the dogs.
For reference here is a picture of the abused dog leaking vital red fluid after people intervened to save it. They took the chain off the dog, and put it around the man’s neck in the video above.
The Scope of Dog Abuse
Animal abuse is defined as any act that causes unnecessary pain, suffering or distress to an animal. It can take many forms, such as neglect, abandonment, physical violence, poisoning, starvation, mutilation or fighting. Animal abuse is not only a moral issue but also a legal one.
In 2016, the FBI started collecting data on animal cruelty offenses as part of its National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which provides national and state data for a variety of crime types. However, this data is still incomplete and underreported because not all states participate in NIBRS and not all cases are reported to law enforcement agencies.
According to NIBRS data analyzed by Veterinarians.org, there were 16,573 animal cruelty offenses reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies in 2021. Texas tops the list for the highest number of animal cruelty offenses in the nation with 2,952 cases reported in 2021.
This number accounts for 17% of all nationwide offenses and is more than double the amount of offenses for the next leading state on the list (Delaware with 1,268 cases). Texas also has the highest number of animal cruelty offenses over a 10-year period (2012-2021) with nearly 7,000 cases reported.
This number is six times higher than the national average (1,146) and accounts for 15% of all animal cruelty offenses reported in the U.S. between 2012 and 2021.
Delaware has a significant lead in terms of the incident rate of animal cruelty offenses (the number of offenses per 100K people). The state sees 129 animal cruelty offenses for every 100K people. This incident rate is 16 times higher than the national average (8). Delaware also ranks second for both highest number of animal cruelty offenses over a 10-year period (3,228) and highest number of animal cruelty offenses in 2021 (1,268).
Other states that have high numbers or rates of animal cruelty offenses include Colorado (3rd), Virginia (4th), Tennessee (5th), Georgia (6th), Oregon (7th), Kentucky (8th), Florida (9th) and New Jersey (10th).
The Impact of Dog Abuse
Dog abuse has serious consequences not only for the animals themselves but also for their owners and society at large. Dogs that suffer from abuse may develop physical injuries such as broken bones, infections or organ damage. They may also experience psychological trauma such as fearfulness, anxiety or aggression. Some abused dogs may even die from their injuries or be euthanized due to lack of resources or adoptability.
Dog abuse also affects human health and safety. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between animal abuse and other forms of violence such as domestic violence and child abuse. According to The Humane Society of The United States, data on domestic violence and child abuse cases reveal that:
- A staggering number of animals are targeted by those who abuse their children or spouses.
- There are approximately 70 million pet dogs and 74.1 million pet cats in the U.S. where 20 men and women are assaulted per minute (an average of around 10 million a year).
- In one survey, 71 % of domestic violence victims reported that their abuser also targeted pets.
- In one study of families under investigation for suspected child abuse, researchers found that pet abuse had occurred in 88% of the families under supervision for physical abuse of their children.
Please always treat animals with the same respect you would treat a person.