According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty), the first humane organization, founded in 1866, in the Western Hemisphere that works to rescue animals from abuse and pass humane laws, the definition of animal cruelty is “acts of violence or neglect perpetrated against animals.” This definition is presented in a paper written by Learning To Give, an organization that teaches children to give back, take voluntary citizen action, and engage civilly and presents it through a philanthropist approach. Animal cruelty is an atrocious act that needs to be understood and not undermined. It is easy to push something to the back of our minds and put ourselves in denial when the issue is not right in front of our faces. Many of us know animal cruelty exists, but how many of us know how prevalent it is? Acknowledgement of the problem is the only way we can begin to solve it.
Animal cruelty dates back farther than many of us think. Learning To Give has used sources such as the ASPCA, the American Humane Society, and a veterinary forensics symposium to verify that dog fighting as a sport began as far back as the twelfth century. Dog fighting continued across Europe for several centuries until the baiting of larger animals was strictly prohibited in 1835. Dog-on-dog combat became a cheaper alternative and was exported to various other countries, including the United States (Learning To Give). This peg in history was only the beginning, as we see many forms of abuse today.
The most common victims, based upon a report by the Humane Society, the largest animal protection organization which is also rated the most effective by its peers, tend to be dogs; pit bulls in particular. From a 2007 media report of 1,800 cruelty cases, 1,212 involved dogs, 337 cats, and 470 were other animals. This distribution is 64.5%, 18%, and 25%, respectively. Thirteen percent of dog-related animal cruelty cases involved pit bulls between 2000 and 2001; meanwhile in 2007, they were involved in 27%. Another thing to note is that some of these cases involved multiple species (Humane Society).
Mercy For Animals (MFA) is an organization that has won awards such as the 2011 Top Non-Profit, the 2011 Veggie Awards, and the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence. MFA is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farm animals and serves as a voice for animals via consumer education activities, cruelty investigations, corporate outreach, and legal advocacy (MFA). They travel, throughout North America, to mills, farms, and slaughter houses to conduct their undercover investigations. More recent investigations include the Wiese Brothers Farms (Wisconsin, 2013) and Hybrid Turkeys (Ontario, 2014). At the Wiese Brothers Farms, workers were seen kicking and beating cows, not only on their bodies, but in their faces. Some cows were dragged around via a chain attached to a tractor by their legs and necks while others were left to suffer with injuries and open wounds. In Ontario at...