Animal Cruelty Needs to Stop


Sophie, a white lab, poses for a picture after she finishes her breakfast.

Emery Vischer shows some love to her friend’s dog, Shep.

crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling animals and sexually exploiting them.

— Cole Higgins

Animals hold a significant role in both the wild and in our own households. Wild animals keep ecosystems balanced and provide stability to the environment. Household animals and pets provide companionship and have been proven to help reduce depression, loneliness, and negative health issues. Although animals positively impact humans and the community, animal cruelty is a rising and constant crime.

There are many types of animal cruelty including, neglect, intentional abuse, and abandonment. Neglect occurs when an owner fails to provide the animal with basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. Intentional abuse is when someone purposely imposes physical harm or injury on an animal. Lastly, abandonment is when an owner suddenly leaves an animal, making them fend for themselves. Being cruel to innocent animals is not only a malicious act, it is also illegal.  

Forty-six states have passed laws enacting felony penalties for certain types of animal abuse. Although it may be a law, most people who commit this crime are not always fully prosecuted with. Many times, animal cruelty is only prosecuted as a misdemeanor and punishments typically only extend to probation, a fine, or a small amount of jail time.

Recently, lawmakers and government officials have proposed a bill to make animal cruelty a federal felony. The PACT Act, which stand for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture, would help make animal abuse a federal felony and close the loophole of the existing laws against animal cruelty.

As CNN notes, the current laws prohibit animal abuse if the act is videotaped or distributed. If passed, the PACT Act will add to these laws and prosecute people if they follow the actions of, “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling animals and sexually exploiting them.” Punishments for individuals will be more harsh if this law proceeds, bringing jail time up to seven years, but seems well deserved for such despicable acts.

Animal cruelty is an act of violence that is not only unacceptable, but it is inhumane. Hurting and killing innocent animals continues to occur, but needs to be stopped. Through federal laws and the PACT Act, animal abuse will no longer be tolerated, as it should be.