Facts, Statistics, and Stories About Animal and Pet Abuse

Updated on December 5, 2019
angela_michelle profile image

Having been a cat and dog lover her entire life, she has made special efforts to learn as much as she can about the animals she cares for.

This is a sanctuary of abused animals.
This is a sanctuary of abused animals. | Source

Facts About Animal Cruelty

  • Neglect and abandonment are the most common forms of abuse towards domestic animals in the United States.
  • Each year, four to five million animals die in shelters.
  • Of the reported cases of dog abuse, pit bulls make up 22 percent of reports.
  • Dogs can die within fifteen minutes from heat stroke since they can only pant and sweat through their paws when it is very hot. Every year many dogs die due to being left in a hot car.
  • Seventy percent of those arrested for animal abuse also had been arrested for other crimes.
  • Thirteen percent of animal abuse cases involve domestic abuse. Investigation of animal abuse cases often uncovers domestic abuse cases.
  • When training a dog for dogfighting, the dog is often abused, starved, or worse, in order to trigger aggressiveness due to survival instincts.
  • Dogs that lose in a dog fight are often burned, drowned, electrocuted, or beaten to death by their owners.
  • Dog and Cock Fighting are illegal in every state in the United States.

Statistics About Animal Abuse

Other Animals
Percentage of Animals Abused in 2007
Percentage of Animals Kicked or Stomped
Percentage of Animals Burned
Percentage of Animals Beat
Lady after being burnt.
Lady after being burnt. | Source

Reporting Animal Abuse

An unknown suspect severely burned this one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier/Shepherd mix. Its owner found the dog as it started to bark/scream. When he saw him, he was entirely engulfed by flames on Halloween night. The dog rolled around and put the fire out itself but was in severe pain, as you can see in the picture. They learned later that the dog had been doused with gasoline and set on fire, which was someone's twisted idea of a Halloween prank. As one article puts it, "what happened to the good ol' days of egging and toilet papering someone's house." Such an act is despicable, and such a far cry from a prank.

Treatment for Dog's Burn: Condition Worsens

A week after this horrific act, and once Lady's condition worsened, the owner surrendered Lady to the Humane Society, which I can only imagine was a heart-wrenching decision. This decision was most likely due to the financial obligation of dealing with a dog who is in Lady's condition. They probably had to decide whether they should put her down, or give Lady a chance to be cared for by someone capable of handling her situation.

Treating burns like this is a time-consuming process that costs thousands of dollars. The main concern when there are severe burns is that infections of the skin will occur, due to having no skin barrier to protect the dog. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the team working with Lady had worked on dog burns before, which allowed the best outcome possible for Lady.

Monkey for Protection of Animals


Cases of Animal Abuse Are Too Numerous

According to the veterinarians and vet techs that cared for Lady, Lady was the sweetest, kindest dog they have in their care. Unfortunately, it will take thousands of dollars to help Lady get the treatment she needs for her badly burned skin, which most of it is on her face. From the very beginning, they were optimistic about Lady's outcome since they did find some good skin cells near the damaged areas. Yet, anytime a person or dog is burned that severely, complications can arise. Even after a few short weeks, the dog was doing emotionally well and would encourage the caretakers to rub her chin. She was very friendly and alert.

My heart broke when I saw this dog, and I could not believe how any person could be so cruel. I don't have words to express what I think of a person who could do such a hideous, barbaric act! A person who would act in such cruelty towards a dog very well may abuse or kill a person. Normal, mentally healthy people would never do something like this.

Dog Survival Story: A Happy Ending for Lady and Children Burn Victims

Update: Lady has found a forever home. Gretchen Kohsmann, a woman who is working as a fire investigator, took him home. She also directs a Burn Victim Camp in Lansing, which is a refuge for children who have become victims of fire and suffered severe burns. She will live with Gretchen, her two children, and two dogs in their home most of the year, except when the camp is running where she will be able to be an inspiration to the dozens of children who are finding comfort at the camp. The hope is that the children who meet Lady will feel a little less alone with her presence, to know that they are not alone in their suffering. As Lady and her new owner left, the fire department who found Lady and the investigators were there to say goodbye.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz


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      • profile image


        22 months ago

        it broke my heart when i saw this dog

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        8 years ago from United States

        I think your sentiments are shared by a vast majority.

      • profile image


        8 years ago

        How could anyone do such a wrong thing! how would they like it if i lit them on fire! It bs Cats Dogs all anamlis are just like us they have rights to do what they want and anyone that hurts them can go the He11

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        8 years ago from United States

        Kathy, I wonder if there is an update out there. I should check on that. But yes, it is such a heineous thing! I think if a person can do this to a dog, then they are capable of doing it to a person. I think in this case, they should be treated the same as if they had harmed a human. And this is coming from someone who does not feel animals should be held as equal to human.

      • Lucky Cats profile image


        8 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

        Oh Angela, this is just heartbreaking and sickening. How could anyone do such a thing? How can they look at themselves in the mirror; what must go through such a person's mind during the quiet am hours when not sleeping? I think it takes quite a bit of self loathing to do such a heinous thing to a defenseless animal. I am in total agreement with your feelings and reaction to this pathetic story. Bless the Veterinarians who are helping this baby. You have done a wonderful thing writing about this and spreading the word. Thank you so much. Kathy aka Lucky Cats

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        8 years ago from United States

        Yes, I know what you mean. Here I am trying to nurse my cat back to health, and crying over it being sick. I just can't understand how someone could possibly abuse a cat like that. You know if they are willing to do that to a dog, that its not too much farther to do that to a human.

      • stephencardiff profile image


        8 years ago

        I cant undertsand why people treat helpless animals in this way... It sickens me to think they got away with it... Nice Hub Though

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        9 years ago from United States

        Your welcome. I am hoping the same thing. :)

      • sueroy333 profile image

        Susan Mills 

        9 years ago from Indiana

        This breaks my heart, as I can see it does so many others. I shared your hub on my facebook page and hope everyone else who has a page does too. I can't help this poor little sweetie, but maybe, like you said, we can all get the word out, so someone who can sees her and knows she needs them.

        Thank you for writing this hub.

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        9 years ago from United States

        It is absolutely horrible that anyone would do this isn't it.

      • gqgirl profile image


        9 years ago from Georgia

        Someone needs to find whomever did this and set them on fire!

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        9 years ago from United States

        My thoughts exactly. It makes me sick whenever I think about it.

      • travel_man1971 profile image

        Ireno Alcala 

        9 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

        Oh. my God1 How could he/she do this to this helpless animal?!!! The person who did this has no conscience or sympathy at all or maybe under the influence of drugs?!!!

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        9 years ago from United States

        Jasper I actually recently read that someone who did this same thing got six months in jail and owed a five hundred dollar fine, and had probation for I don't remember how long. Totally doesn't fit the crime.

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        9 years ago from United States

        cwarden, my heart hurts too for the dog. I wish there was something that I could do for it. I want to hug it too. The first time I saw the dog I wanted to look away, but then I couldn't help just looking at it. How cruel!!!

      • profile image


        9 years ago

        peopple are sick this makes me very angrey that someone could do this that poor dog who ever did this needs to be locked up for a very long time

      • cwarden profile image


        9 years ago from USA

        This is just horrible. I can barely stand to look at the pictures of this innocent puppy, but at the same time I just want to give it a big hug.

        I can't imagine what really motivates someone to do such things, but you are correct with your statement that it will likely progress. Especially if this crime was committed by an adolescent.

        My heart is really hurting for this poor dog. :(

        Thank you for sharing this and I will do the same.

      • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        9 years ago from United States

        No kidding, someone who could do something like that to a dog, would someday progress to harming people. They should be confined for a lot longer than law probably allows in the case of animal abuse. I don't know what the actual maximum punishment is for such behavior.

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        9 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        Some people seem to be just plain sadistic. We ourselves have adopted a shelter dog that had some sort of abuse of neglect which makes her very shy of people. Not as bad as the one you describe which should result in some sort of confinemnet for the perpetrator.


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