Why People Abuse Animals

Why do people abuse animals? Its not exactly an easy question to answer, but here are the top three reasons.

1. People don't realize that they're abusing the animal.
          This may seem strange-how can you not realize that you're abusing an animal?-but it happens often.  An example of this would be pet owners not buying the right kind of food, or forgetting to feed their pet a few times, or not having adequate shelter because they don't realize that their pet needs a shelter.
2. People abuse animals, but its for a short period of time.
          An example would be throwing rocks at a dog or a cat. It is mostly kids who do this, because they are trying to show off for their friends or they are a victim of peer pressure.
3. People abuse animals on purpose.
          This is the worst kind of animal abuse. People abuse animals because they feel powerful or because they like to hurt things. Many times they hurt animals because an animal can't fight back like a human can.

Dog Fighting

How is dog fighting abuse?

  • Dogs are forced to fight against each other.
  • It is inhumane for people to fight other animals against each other for money and entertainment
  • Many dogs a fatally injured juring these fights
  • Many dogs lose their legs in a fight, and others may lose their sight.
  • Dogs have their ears trimmed off and tails tucked close to their body so other dogs can't grab onto them
  • These dogs may become vicious to people, even if they are trying to help the dog.
The most common type of dog used in dog fighting is pit bulls.  Because many people know about dog fighting, many think that pit bulls are horrible dogs. A lot of people hate pit bulls because they think that the dog will be vicious to everyone and attack anything it can.

Pit bulls have been genetically engineered so that they do not back down no matter what.  If you watch a fight between two puppies, its just for fun, and there are hardly ever any injuries. But pit bulls have been changed so that when they're in a fight, they will not let the other dog win until they are dead. Pit bulls are trained to fight even if they are injured or nearly dead. If they do not, they are often killed by their owners.

Puppy Mills

Puppies. Adorable, fluffy puppies. Everyone loves them, right? Well, if you absolutely love cute, snuggly puppies this is not going to be fun to learn about.

Do you have a puppy? Do you want a puppy? Do you know where your puppy came from, or where you would get your puppy in the future?
From a breeder?
From a shelter?
From a pet store?

Although this may not seem like a very important part of owning a puppy-who really cares where you get it?- it really is a good thing to think about.
Because you may be unknowingly be contributing to a horrible form of animal abuse-puppy mills.
The thing is, nobody knows about puppy mills, so they continue to grow and grow.

So...Why are puppy mills so bad?
Puppy mills keep their dogs in tiny, cramped cages, ith inadequate food and water. The cages are not heated in the winter or cooled in the summer. Many of the dogs die from heat stroke,  or they freeze to death. Because of the lack of space and the number of dogs in each cage, many dogs fight with each other and die from injuries.
Hundreds of thousands of puppies are raised in puppy mills each year. Females are bred as soon as they are old enough, and each year after. When they finally become too old to breed, they are shot.

Many people wonder that if puppy mills are so bad, why do they continue to grow?
Well, like we mentioned earlier, not many people know about puppy mills. They buy an adorable puppy in a pet store, not knowing that it came from a puppy mill. This brings the mills more and more money, funding their growth.
Food for puppy mills is brought in by the truckload. Its very poor quality, and is dirty and gross when fed to the puppies. In order to minimize cost, the puppies never have vet checks.
So when you get the puppy...
Before a puppy sold, it has very little human contact. So naturally, they're probably scared of us, so many puppies are mean to humans. Also, because they have probably never had a vet check in their life and because of the conditions they have been kept in, they usually have many physical and emotional problems that can end up costing the family thousands of dollars in vet bills.

Unfortunately, its going to take a lot of effort and a lot of time to stop these puppy mills. So if you're planning on getting a puppy, check out a shelter or a trusted breeder! This will help stop the funding of these horrible places.

What is Animal Hoarding?

What is Animal Hoarding?
Animal hoarding. Having many pets does not seem like abuse, does it? But this is. Animal hoarding is having too many pets, and not being able to take proper care of them.
"Animal hoarding or collecting is an obsessive/compulsive disorder in which an individual amasses a large number of animals (sometimes more than a 100); fails to provide for the animals' most basic physical and social needs, including food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and sanitary living."

So, Why do People Hoard?
This is pretty tough to answer. There are some studies that are leading toward attachment disorders related to personality disorders, depression, paranoia, or other mental illnesses. Many people think they are rescuing these animals from a hard life on the street, while in reality they are creating as bad an environment as being a stray because their many pets still do not have adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care.

Is Hoarding a Common Problem?
There are around 900-1200 new cases of animal hoarding every year, and the animals that are hoarded vary greatly and include dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rodents, exotic animals, and even farm animals. Imagine having 100 cows in your backyard..Or walking into someone's house and seeing hundreds of birds flying everywhere. That's what it would hoarding would look like.

People who hoard often do not want to give up their many pets. They feel like they have made an attachment with each individual animal, and sometimes even name each of their pets. If a neighbor or friend calls animal control or someone else to come take the animals, the hoarder would hate to give up all of their pets.

Lab Testing. Is it Necessary? Is it Even Abuse? What IS it??

I guess we'll answer the last question first. What is lab testing?Lab testing is simple. Its doing experiments on animals, for scientific and medical research. Many people around the world consider these tests abuse.

Whether or not animal experimentation is abuse is a tough question. We'll let you decide if lab testing is abuse or not, but here are some things you should know:

There are tons of tests done on animals. Some examples?

The Draize Eye Test
This is used to test shampoos, household detergents, weed killers, and pesticides. The products are put on the conscious, completely awake rabbit's eyes, in order to test if it irritates the eyes. Well, yes it irritates their eyes, but it can still be sold to you because a rabbit's eye is a bad model for a human's eye anyways, so it was kind of pointless. This test is used over and over again, even though we already know the aftermath of this test, and poor rabbits get blinded for no reason!

The "LD50"
The animals used in this test are rabbits, dogs, cats, mice, and guinea pigs. This "LD50" is used to test lipsticks, cleansers, moisturizers, nail polishes, skin care products, and shampoos. The LD50 (which means "Lethal Dose 50%"..Sounds fun, doesn't it?) introduces the different ingredients in a product through the animal's mouth. The animal is fed up to half of its body weight, and then find the dose that will kill half of the animal sample. A minimum of 50 animals are required for this test to be accurate.

Skin Test for Toxicity
The main animals used in this test are rats and rabbits (poor rabbits. They're used in almost every test!) The animal's fur is shaved, and the material being tested is applied to the animal's skin. Many times, the animal's skin is cut or broken so the substance is absorbed better.

Many of the animals used for testing are bred specifically for the purpose, sort of like the horse racing industry, but in this case, all animals can be used. A lot of animals also come from shelters. Some animals commonly used for testing are mice, rats, guinea pigs, birds, hamsters, cats, rabbits, dogs, pigs and monkeys.

Of course, there are some laws to protect the animals, such as the AWA, which is the Animal Welfare Act. But the AWA can only go so far. It only protects mammals, and it excludes birds, mice, and rats that are specifically bred for testing.

BUT..Is it necessary?
Take a look at the viewpoint of one person.

Does animal testing work?
Yes No
Animal testing has helped to develop vaccines against diseases like rabies, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and TB Animal experiments can be misleading. An animal's response to a drug can be different to a human's
Antibiotics, HIV drugs, insulin and cancer treatments rely on animal tests. Other testing methods aren't advanced enough Successful alternatives include test tube studies on human tissue cultures, statistics and computer models
Scientists claim there are no differences in lab animals and humans that cannot be factored into tests The stress that animals endure in labs can affect experiments, making the results meaningless
Operations on animals helped to develop organ transplant and open-heart surgery techniques Animals are still used to test items like cleaning products, which benefit mankind less than medicines or surgery

Is animal testing morally right?
Yes No
Human life has greater intrinsic value than animal life Animals have as much right to life as human beings
Legislation protects all lab animals from cruelty or mistreatment Strict controls have not prevented researchers from abusing animals - although such instances are rare
Millions of animals are killed for food every year - if anything, medical research is a more worthy death Deaths through research are absolutely unnecessary and are morally no different from murder
Few animals feel any pain as they are killed before they have the chance to suffer When locked up they suffer tremendous stress. Can we know they don't feel pain?

Numbers of animals used in the UK in 2000
Animals Number Used
Mouse 1,607,000
Rat 535,000
Other Rodent 71,500
Rabbit 39,700
Carnivore 11,600
Hoofed mammal 63,000
Primate 3,700
Other mammal 500
Bird 124,200
Reptile 15,600
Fish 243,000
TOTAL 2,714,800

And here is a chart that we made from some research that we found.

Advantages Disadvantages
We have better surgery techniques as a result of some animal tests. A  test is not done on one animal, but sometimes on hundreds in order to make it  more accurate, which means that hundreds of animals are suffering.
Odds  are, you’ve used many products that have been tested on animals, so that  product must have been helpful. There  are many tests that are unnecessary, but are still being used. With  technological advances, we don’t need to use many tests that we still are.
Sometimes  there is no alternative way to test a product that would be beneficial, so  animals are used. Animals  suffer from emotional AND physical abuse. Physical incudes blinding, burning,  cutting, and killing, often without anesthesia.
There  are some laws that protect animals, so some animals are treated well inside the labs and given anesthesia during  tests. Animals are not usually kept in good conditions before or after their testing, and sometimes don't recieve medical treatment from injuries they get in tests.

After reading this, we'll let you make your own decision about whether this is abuse or not.

Horse Racing (Thoroughbred Racing, Flat Racing)

Do you consider horse races abuse? Its been going on since horses have been tamed and domesticated, so it can't be too bad, right?
Take a look at this...

Horse racing is a pretty "glamorous" thing..Isn't it? Think of it this way.
Only the top horses can race, yes? The trainers, breeders, and jockeys don't want to be wasting all of their time and money on a horse that has no chance.

"The horse racing industry causes thousands of horses to be born only to be slaughtered or abandoned to an existence of neglect, starvation, and suffering."

The truth is, thousands of thoroughbreds each year are bred to race, but very few are "good enough." the rest are "disposed of."
During training and racing, injuries are common. A horse with an injury may be sold to slaughterhouses, sold into worse and worse conditions, or even euthanized on the spot-put to sleep.
When a racehorse's career is over, which is almost always at a very young age, they must also be "disposed of."

Racehorses suffer frequent injuries because they are not fully developed or finished growing.

If a trainer thinks a horse has "potential" it will be trained to race. This training begins at a very young age, so that they are able to race by the time they are two or three. Based on studies done by equine veterinarians, a two year old horse is about equivalent in age to a 13 year old human.
At 13, are humans done growing yet? Probably not. Its the same thing with horses. Their bones and growth plates have not yet matured, so they suffer many leg injuries. And if a human can't run with a broken leg, can a horse? No. The horse in extreme cases would have to be "disposed of," joining so many others who share the same fate. About one in every 22 racehorses suffers an injury on the track that will prevent it from finishing the race.
Take Eight-Belles for example.
Eight-Belles was a filly (which is a young female horse) running in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill. She was one of the 39 fillies who have ever run this race. She ran, came in second, and fell. Minutes later she was euthanized on the spot.

If you're training a horse to ride for pleasure, training usually begins around 3 years old. The training is usually very much more laid back than in the racing industry, so you don't hurt the horse. Racehorses, on the other hand, start training as young as a year old.

But many of the horses that are not killed when they are injured are forced to continue to race. It would be like running a whole track meet with a sprained ankle-its not exactly recommended. Running with leg injuries causes extreme suffering for the horse. Because the horse racing industry is all about money, and not the actual horses themselves, (which kind of makes no sense if you ask us) many horses are drugged so they can continue to run. A few examples are:
Hormones that increase oxygen-carrying red blood cells,
Cobra venom injected to ease joint stiffness
And a mix of baking soda, sugar, and electrolytes delivered through a tube in the horse’s nose to increase carbon dioxide in the horse’s bloodstream and lessen lactic-acid buildup, warding off fatigue.
There is even an article that says that batteries are sometimes concealed under a horse’s skin that deliver a shock when the horse is flagging.
How horrible does that sound??

In the racing industry, people seem to think that retired racehorses go to nice, happy people, or perfect, wonderful barns with friends and carrots every day. People think that they turn into nice, well cared for riding horses.
Well, although that may be the case for some of them, most retired racehorses are sent to the slaughterhouse. They are "disposed of."

Racehorses are handled by many people, including jockeys, veterinarians, trainers, and owners, so a horse is unable to create a bond with a certain person. They are forced to move from state to state, from racetrack to racetrack, from country to country, and never have a true "home."

Now let's add horrible testing into the mix..Very glamorous, isn't it?
Around the world, thousands of racehorses die (or are killed) each year whether its during training, during racing, or because they aren't fast enough. But of course, they want to find the solution to this, right? Instead of taking away all of the horribly unnatural stress and pressure that would cause injuries such as broken backs and legs, bleeding lungs, burst blood vessels, ulcers, and heart attacks, they conduct lethal experiments to find out why oh why their dear friend is injured or ill or dead.
Because its not obvious enough for them?

So there you have it. The glamorous horse racing industry. Note that not all people who ride horses treat them horribly, though! Overall during the year, tons of money is put into the multi-billion dollar horse racing industry by people who don't know they are funding animal abuse.
Many people refuse to believe this, that horse racing is abuse. Many will deny it over and over, claiming that the information is made up. Whether you believe it or not, that's your decision.

What is Animal Abuse?

First, we'll explain a little bit about what exactly animal abuse is. There are actually many different ways that an animal can be abused, and any animal can be abused.

Cruelty to animals is the infliction of suffering or harm upon animals, other than humans, for purposes other than self-defense.
That is the definition of animal abuse. This covers many different things, such as:

  • Animal Testing
  • Animal Hoarding
  • Dog Fighting
  • Puppy Mills
  • Horse (and dog) Races;
  • Abandonment
  • Slaughter
  • And many other things!