Animal cruelty is defined as the malicious or intentional maiming, mutilation, torture or wounding of a living animal. Also, any person who overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary food, drink or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates or cruelly kills an animal is guilty of Animal cruelty.
Animal cruelty is often broken down into two main categories: passive
, also referred to as commission and omission, respectively. Passive cruelty
is typified by cases of neglect, in which the cruelty is a lack of action rather than the action itself. Examples of neglect are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin, inadequate shelter in extreme weather conditions, and failure to seek veterinary care when necessary. Active cruelty
implies malicious intent, as when a person has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to an animal. What Can You Do About Animal Abuse?
If you suspect cruelty to an animal you should contact your local law enforcement agency. As a witness, you will need to be able to provide information about the situation, such as:
- WHAT is happening, i.e. a description of the incident(s) - this may include information about an animal's physical condition and/or an act that was committed against the animal.
- WHO is committing the offense - name & description of the person or persons, as well as a description of their vehicle (if applicable) with a license plate number - as much information as you can gather.
- WHERE is the incident occurring - specific location, including address & cross streets.
- WHEN did the incident occur - date & time.
The more detailed you can be in your description the more evidence animal control will have to pursue your report. If others have also witnessed a particular animal being abused or neglected, ask them to report the incident as well - corroborating evidence supports your case. Animal control officers may not be available to respond immediately to a reported incident of animal abuse. Don't wait until an animal's life is in danger - if you suspect abuse, document it and report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Animal Cruelty in Texas is a felony and punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to two years in jail. Those under the age of 18 are also required to undergo counseling if convicted of animal cruelty. LINKS
Cruelty to Animals Texas Penal Code