Of animal abuse cases, 64.5 percent involve dogs, while only 18 percent involve cats, and almost 1 million animals are abused each year due to human domestic violence, according to the Humane Society. All 50 states have felony laws against animal abuse.
Another important fact is that not all abuse is violent because animal neglect constitutes animal abuse, as the Animal Legal Defense Fund explains. Any animals that are not given food, water, adequate shelter and veterinary care when needed are being neglected and are therefore being abused, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Animals that are being violently abused or neglected and abused often show signs such as open sores, open cuts, bruises, have missing sections of fur, limp or be unable to walk, and are extremely thin, according to PBS Kids and the ASPCA. Animals that are kept outside when the weather is extremely hot, extremely cold or during the middle of a storm may also be suffering abuse.
Studies have also shown that spousal abusers and child abusers tend to abuse animals first, reports the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. If individuals witness animal abuse or observe an animal being neglected, the ASPCA recommends contacting one of its offices as well as the local police.