Animal cruelty facts and stats

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What to know about animal abuse victims and legislative trends

Animal abuse is a widespread issue, often going unreported. Cases of cruelty and neglect affect animals across social and economic boundaries, with a correlation to other crimes. Hoarding behavior can lead to severe neglect of animals, indicating a need for social or mental health services. Men under 30 are more likely to intentionally abuse animals, while women over 60 are often involved in animal hoarding. Dogs, cats, horses, and livestock are the animals most commonly abused. Factory farms have been found to have high levels of abuse due to weak protections. Dogfighting and cockfighting are linked to organized crime and have led to homicides. The Pets and Women’s Safety Act, which helps domestic abuse victims protect their pets, has been enacted to address this issue. The Humane Society works to strengthen animal cruelty laws and support felony convictions for severe cases. The FBI now includes animal cruelty in its crime reporting system to improve data collection for intervention and enforcement.