Animal Abuse | Culture of Abuse
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Animal Abuse

animal abuse

This page is Dedicated to Anne Springer, animal advocate, dog trainer, humanitarian. RIP, your impact and wisdom were great.


Definition and Summary



As sentient beings, animals deserve to live without fear and abuse. Some believe the connection to human violence makes animal abuse a more significant priority, while others believe animals should simply be protected against abuse and cruelty because they live, breathe, feel, and problem-solve. Animals often become targets of abuse in homes where domestic violence exists, and victims are often reluctant to leave if it means leaving a pet behind. Mistreatment of a family pet can be a red flag for family violence. This section will discuss abuse of all animals, to include companion animals, working animals, wildlife, and farm animals.


I also want to highlight the lack of regulation in the companion animal industry and the role it plays in the mistreatment of our pets. Lack of regulation means fields such as training, pet sitting, grooming, daycares, and other pet-related services can be performed by anyone regardless of appropriate instruction or education. This lack of regulation has led to widespread misinformation and ill-informed consumers, with our pets paying a steep price. When providers lack science-based training and knowledge they are free to make any claim they want about the success or failure of their methods, and thus perpetuate myths about how animals learn. Tools such as prong collars, the use of shock, pain, and coercion are often touted as legitimate ‘training’ devices, but inflicting pain and fear on animals is not only inhumane and abusive, such tactics merely serve to shut an animal down. This isn’t training, it’s learned helplessness. Best practices avoid aversive treatment and instead place emphasis on learning theory, using reward rather than punishment. As with all forms of abuse, the use of power and control is evident in the aversive methods so often used with companion animals. In the ‘resources’ section you’ll find links to help guardians make better choices that are not only more humane, they are supported by science.



“Animal cruelty can be either deliberate abuse or simply the failure to take care of an animal. Either way, and whether the animal is a pet, a farm animal or wildlife, the victim can suffer terribly. Don’t despair, though—anyone can take steps against cruelty.” Excerpt from the Humane Society of the United States. Continue reading here.




Pet Professional Guild (PPG)

PPG: Find a Force-Free Pet Professional

PPG: Dominance Theory

PPG: Position Statements and Open Letters

PPG: Project Trade

AVSAB Position Statements

Video published on Feb 15, 2008: Dr. L. David Mech talks about the terms “alpha” and “beta” wolves and why they are no longer scientifically accurate.

Video: Alpha Males Do Not Exist (enjoy this fun and informative video!)

Victoria Stilwell, POSITIVELY: Dogs Are Not Wolves Trying to Dominate Us – Myths and Truths

Victoria Stilwell, POSITIVELY: Pack Theory Debunked

Whole Dog Journal: De-Bunking the ‘Alpha Dog’ Theory

Positive Gun Dog Training

Freedom Service Dogs of America

Service Dog Academy

Diamonds in the Ruff: Positive Dog Prison Training Program

DOGSTAR DAILY: Open Letter to Rescues by Michelle Douglas

Victoria Stilwell, POSITIVELY: Progressive Zoos Don’t Use Punishment, Why Should You?

Eileen and Dogs: Fallout From the Use of Aversives



ASPCA: A Closer Look at Puppy Mills

Animal Welfare Institute: Puppy Mills

HSUS: Puppy Mills

Animal Legal Defense Fund: Puppy Mills Require Ongoing Legislative Attention

The Hill: Humane Society – USDA records on puppy mills missing from website




The Humane Society of the United States

HSUS by state


ASPCA Pro: Training, research, and resources for animal welfare professionals

Animal Legal Defense Fund

National Link Coalition

Animal Legal Defense Fund: No Boundaries for Abusers

Animal Legal Defense Fund: Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence

AVMA: Cross reporting of animal and child abuse

American Psychological Association, Mary Lou Randour: What Every Clinician Should Know About the Link Between Pet Abuse and Family Violence

Mary Lou Randour

FBI: Tracking Animal Cruelty

A Big Win for Animals” The Washington Post

International Fund for Animal Welfare

Society of Animal Welfare Administrators

Best Friends

Animal Welfare Institute

Animal Welfare Association

Dogs Deserve Better: Freeing chained or penned dogs

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)



White Coat Waste

Beagle Freedom Project

American Anti-Vivisection Society

Johns Hopkins: Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing

Animal Ethics

Animal Welfare Institute: Animals in Laboratories

Animal Legal Defense Fund: Animal Testing and the Law

NEAVS: Animals in Science/Research

HSUS: Timeline – Cosmetics Testing on Animals



ASPCA: Farm Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare Approved: Farm Animal Welfare

World Animal Protection Farm Animal Welfare

Open Farm

Compassion in World Farming

Global Animal Partnership

American * Humane




HSUS: Taking Action to Stop Dog Fighting

Animal Legal Defense Fund: Animal Fighting Facts

ASPCA: Dog Fighting

ASPCA: A Closer Look at Dog Fighting

Humane Society International: Dogfighting



GREY2K USA: A Global Voice for Greyhounds

ASPCA: Greyhound Racing

HSUS: National Horse Racing Advisory Council

Animal Welfare Institute: Urban Carriage Horses

HSUS: Carriage Horses

Animal Legal Defense Fund: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Carriage Horse Industry

Performing Animal Welfare Society

MSPCA: Circus Animal Welfare

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation: Animals in Entertainment

HSUS: Circuses, Animals in Entertainment

Animal Welfare Institute: Entertainment



HSUS International: Dog Meat Trade

Animal Welfare Institute: The Dog Meat Trade

A Humane Nation: Lawmakers target dog meat trade in the United States

Animals Asia: Facts About the Dog Meat Trade in Asia

Stop Yulin Forever



HSUS: Trophy Hunting

HSUS: Trophy Hunting by the Numbers

HSUS International: Trophy Hunting

HSUS: False Pride of Trophy Hunting

ASPCA: Hunting

National Geographic: Hard Numbers Reveal Scale of America’s Trophy-Hunting Habit

HuffPost: Is Trophy Hunting Really Trophy Murder?

HuffPost: The Pastime of Pshychopaths