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Animal Abuse And Neglect Essay

601 words - 3 pages

The prevalence of pet ownership in America has more than tripled during the last several decades, rising from 67 million households during the 1970s to 164 million households in 2012 (Human Society, 2014). The conscious decision by 62 percent of American households to own at least one pet represents a long-term commitment of time, money, and dedication to the needs of a wholly dependent entity. The basic needs for all pets, inclusive of companion animals and farm animals, include several provisions. These provisions include access to safe, clean drinking water at all times, access to high quality food commensurate to the weight of the animal, and adequate shelter from excesses of heat and cold (Agape, 2014). Beyond the life-essential basic needs of animals lay commonly accepted requisites that define responsible pet ownership. These requisites or minimal standards of care include access to veterinary care, access to exercise, and freedom from physical harm.
Failure to provide established basic life provisions or minimum standards of care to companion or farm animals are subject to diverse and inconsistent penalties. State laws provide disparate anti-cruelty criminal statutes for companion animals, with some including safeguards for farm animals, and animal breeding facilities (Animal Legal Defense Fund, 2014). Contributing to the de-standardization of animal welfare laws include several variables. These variables include the classification of most animal-related penalties as misdemeanor-level violations, with disproportionate enforcement actions, even in cases of severe neglect (Animal Legal Defense Fund, 2014). Other impediments to regulated animal welfare laws may include inconstancies in the accepted definitions of what constitutes animal abuse, animal neglect, and animal cruelty.
The Humane Society of the United States defines animal abuse as the deliberate (or manifest) infliction of harm on an animal. Animal neglect is the deliberate or unintentional (latent or manifest) failure to...

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