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Dog Abuse Facts
Informative Facts Regarding Canine Abuse and Neglect


While many of us (most of us, we hope) consider our dogs to be part of our families and would never harm them, sadly dog abuse takes place all over the world.  Many people wonder what, exactly - is dog abuse? What constitutes actual abuse and is neglect a part of this?  There are many different forms of abuse - including neglect and atrocities against puppies and dogs are done for a slew of different misguided and sickening reasons.  Being more aware of the terrible things that are done to canines all throughout the world and spreading the information about these facts can help! Making others aware about the murder, abuse and neglect of dogs - that by nature are kind, loyal and loving to humans - can help fight against dog abuse.

1- The Most Abused Pet

While it may be due to the fact that dogs are the most popular pet in the US, Canada, UK and in many places all over the globe, the dog is also the most abused. When speaking of all animal abuse cases that are reported, dogs - and Pit bulls or Pit bull mixes - are the most prevalent. A recent report showed that out of 1880 abuse cases, 64.5% involved dogs. The remaining involved cats and other pets.

Puppies and dogs of all ages are abused in many ways, including:

•    Grooming neglect - In severe dog abuse cases, coats become horribly matted, sometimes to the point needing to be completely shaved off.  Grooming abuse can also include a lack of pest control with leads to fur imbedded with fleas and ticks. Neglect can include a lack of dental care, which often leads to loose and/or missing teeth, cracked teeth and gum/mouth infections which are not only painful but also can make it very difficult for a dog to eat and receive enough nutrition.  Uncleansed ears can lead to infestation of ear mites which causes great discomfort and severe itching.  A failure to trim nails can lead to ingrown and/or broken nails which can cause discomfort and even cause puppies and dogs to develop limps.

•    Feeding neglect - Another unfortunate element of dog abuse is failure on the owner's part to provide proper food and nutrition.  Starving and emaciated dogs become weak and undernourishment affects the dog's entire body, including a great amount of stress on the heart. Sores can develop due to a lack of a fat layer that would otherwise protect the body when lying down.  Domesticated dogs depend on their humans to feed them; instead of giving a dog up for adoption if food becomes too expensive, some owners choose to leave the dog to die a slow death of starvation.

•    Environment neglect - Everything from the soft, cozy doggie bed to warm sweater put on a toy breed dog affects a canine quality of life.  When a dog is tossed aside, forced to lie on a cold cement floor, put outside on freezing days or not cared for in all aspects that come with a loving, caring home, this is in fact, dog abuse.

Another issue that falls under this category is the abuse that takes place when an owner leaves a dog in a car during warm or hot weather. This is a cruel practice that can cause a dog to enter into heatstroke within just a few minutes and it can be fatal in many cases.  The fact is, that on a warm 78 degree day (25 C), within just minutes the temperature in a car can climb to 120 degrees (49 C).  On hot summer days of 90 degrees, a car quickly becomes a hot deathtrap reaching 160 degrees (71 C) in just minutes. Do keep in mind that cracking a window does not stop this from happening.  14 states have laws against leaving a dog in a car for any amount of time; however for some areas this is only illegal if the weather is very hot or very cold. The effects of this type of dog abuse are heat stroke, brain damage and possibly death.

Additionally, another issue that falls into this classification of environment abuse is hoarding.  Animal hoarding is a nationwide problem in which an owner will obtain a high number of dogs (and often a combination of dogs and other animals) which is a far greater number than he or she can care for.  Furthermore, owning over a certain number of pets is illegal in many areas.  Dogs that live in these types of conditions suffer from the effects of overcrowding, a lack of proper nutrition, and grooming issues such as flea infestation, matted coats, rotted teeth and more.

•    Physical/ Violent Abuse - Abuse against puppies can dogs includes physically hitting the dog, either by hand, with kicking or hitting the dog with an object.  This also includes throwing the dog or other acts that cause physical harm to the dog's body.  Injuries may not show on the outside; as internal injuries from these sorts of crimes are common.  In addition, hundreds of dogs each year develop brain damage to do physical abuse.  Puppies under the age of 1 year old are particularly vulnerable to any physical abuse since their bones are not yet fully developed.

•    Emotional Abuse - Canines are very intelligent, caring creatures.   Puppies and dogs alike are very in tune to their owners… they know when they are happy, sad or angry.  Many dogs will display a behavior that matches that of their owner.  In addition, the tone at which one speaks to a dog will affect not only his behavior but his emotional wellbeing as well.  Yelling or screaming to intimidate a dog and cause fear is in fact a form of dog abuse.

2. Dog Fighting

While dog fighting used to be legal, fortunately since 2008 forcing dogs to fight is illegal in all 50 states of the U.S. and this also holds true for DC, PR, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.  In many states across the country it is considered a felony to own dogs for the purpose of this illegal fighting. The type of felony charge varies by state, ranging from Class C to D and F.  Some states simply have set prison terms such as California, where this abuse and crime against dogs will bring someone up to 2-3 years in prison.  Fines range from $1000 to $50,000.  Illinois is one of the states with the highest fine of 50K.

In addition, being a spectator at this type of horrible event is also a crime.  Unfortunately, the penalties for this awful abuse do not always work as a deterrent.

•    In 2007, over 60 dogs were rescued from a dog fighting ring in Ohio. Over 20 people were arrested.
•    In 2007, 44 Pit bulls were rescued from a compound in Mississippi with 17 people taken in.
•    In 2013, over 24 dogs were saved from an abusive dog fighting ring in Baltimore, MD, with 5 people arrested.
•    One of the most controversial and famous cases stems from the arrest and conviction of Michael Vick - An Atlanta Falcons quarterback - who was arrested for running a dog fighting organization in Virginia. How long did Michael Vick go to jail? He served 23 months. The 49 dogs that were saved from terrible, abusive lives were brought to animal shelters to be later adopted out.


3- Killing Dogs for their Fur 

A representative from the Human Society estimates that over 2 million dogs are slaughtered every year for their fur.  As shocking as this may seem, dog fur coats are originating out of the Czech Republic and other Eastern European, according to the Humane Society.  One problem with controlling such abuse is that only with DNA testing can investigators prove if fur is from a dog or from another animal.  Therefore, many coats with fur trim may actually be manufactured with the coats of dogs.

4- Dogs Caught in Wild Animal Traps

All over the world, domesticated dogs are being caught in painful wild animal traps.  Most of the traps that injure dogs are those set up to capture coyotes and foxes (since they are close in size).  This happens in many states, most notably in Maine.

5- Abandonment    

Leaving a puppy or dog out in the middle of nowhere or dropping him off away from home to fend for himself, unfortunately, is a common form of dog cruelty.  This can happen if an owner feels that he or she can no longer care for the dog due to their own problems or no longer has the money to offer proper care.  Another reason for abandonment is moving to a new location that does not accept dogs as pets.  What can owners do instead of committing this type of dog abuse?  Locating a no-kill shelter is an option that offers a puppy or dog safety and an opportunity to be adopted by someone who is better able to manage having a canine family member.

6- Puppy Mill Abuse

Puppy mills are large facilities that keep dogs in extremely cramped cages, to breed females over and over, often until death. The resulting litters are sold online, in pet stores and by other means.  Many puppy mills are legal, even though dogs are kept in quite terrible conditions.  By law, exercise can simply mean "room to turn around in the cage".  Most dogs never see the light of day, most never are able to run and play.  Many die of the effects of overcrowding including disease such as heart and kidney disease and many females eventually die during labor due to overbreeding.

7 - Greyhounds are one of the most abused breeds

This is because this breed is used extensively for racing.  Dogs that were once young and healthy are often discarded when they grow too old to perform.  Fortunately, once this problem became well known, many rescue leagues have been established to care for and eventually adopt out these dogs.

8. - Laboratory Testing

When people think about laboratory testing animals they often tend to think of moneys or rats (technically a rodent). However thousands of dogs are killed each year due to United States laboratory testing for foods, drugs, chemicals and cosmetics.  According to PETA, approximately 75,000 canines in the U.S. are tortured in labs each year.  Some universities have been known for taking dogs from shelters only to use them in experiments.  Canines are often used for toxicology studies, which involves progressive dosing of pharmaceutical medications, and harmful products such as pesticides and industrial chemicals.  This is a severe form of dog abuse, as these animals are essentially being poisoned.



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