Every 60 seconds an animal is abused. A staggering 70% of reported animal abuse cases involve dogs. 10,000 bull dogs die as a cause of Bullfighting, a sport when a dog tries to grab the snout of a pinned bull.
In the United States alone, 1.13 million animals are used to be tested in laboratories. Millions of day-old, male chicks are killed in a macerator, a machine that reduces solids to small pieces by cutting them up, because they are “worthless” to the egg industry. These are some of many astonishing statistics of animal abuse. The laws that protect these animals have been slowly evolving over time.
But how have these laws grown in comparison to what they first were? What controversial cases have violated these laws? Well to first understand this we have to know why we should even care about the abuse.There are multiple reasons as to why people should pay more attention to crimes like animal abuse. For starters, animal violence could be a clear indication that a person is going to commit acts of violence in the future. 70% of animal abusers that have been found guilty of animal violence crimes also have records of other crimes. To find and stop this thirst for blood, with assistance of mental health services we could then prevent future violent crimes. Feeling of pleasure from cruelty to animals is called zoosadism. This feeling of Zoosadism is one of three behaviors that often lead to sociopathic behavior, the others being fire setting and enuresis.
It is important to know that these animals do not have a voice. That is one of the main reasons that they are targeted. When you first hear the term “animal abuse” the first thing that comes to most people’s heads is violence. Though the most common form that people think animal abuse is, the most common case of animal abuse is neglect (as shown in the pie chart).
Animal abuse does not simply cover violence against animals, rather it covers a variety of crimes against animals. This could vary from anything to leaving an animal chained up in extremely cold weather or chained up for an extended amount of time, failing to provide veterinary services when it is needed or just hoarding animals. But these laws have not been in place throughout the entirety of the history of the United States.The laboratory animal welfare act was the first anti-cruelty law that was signed into law on August 24, 1966. It set the minimal standards of care of animals such as dogs, cats, primates, hamsters and guinea pigs.
The required includes anything from housing, food, water, handling, sanitation and veterinarian care only within the boundaries of animal dealers and laboratories. In 1970 the law was renamed to “The Animal Welfare Act” and now applied to all warm blooded animals. This was the beginning of laws that would protect animals.
Even though first laws only applied to laboratories and animal dealers, as time continued these laws started to evolve as well. Ten years after the first the laboratory animal welfare act was signed, the law expanded to all animal brokers, carriers and handlers. The law states that you must require a veterinarian certificate in order to transport animals on an interstate. The law also says all dogs, now matter what their purpose might be, must be protected. Finally the last thing that the newly formed law regulates is that all federal agencies, such as the NIH, airforce and army, that were currently using laboratory animals, must show that they fully abide by the act.1985 was the year in which the laws began to affect the meat industry.
That is when the ISLAA (Improved Standard for Laboratory Animals Act) was adopted into the Food Security Act. The purpose of the ISLAA was to lessen the distress and pain of animals in a laboratory. To enforce this, all research facilities must have an institutional animal committee. Within this committee must be a person that is not connected to the facility, to represent the community’s interest, and a veterinarian. The committee will inspect the laboratory and will report to the lab what must be corrected. The lab will be expected to correct any problems immediately. If they are not corrected then the USDA will be notified punctually. If this happens then the laboratory will have its grant either suspended or revoked.
Skip approximately 20 years later to the year 2008 we see another change in the law. This time in the form of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act. This act includes an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act. The amendment included an increase in the fine for committing animal cruelty.
Prior to the change the fine was $2,500 per violation per animal per day. The amendment increased the $2,500 fine to a $10,000 fine per violation per animal per day.It wasn’t until recently, in the year of 2014 that the FBI changed its policy of these crimes.
Before, the FBI put animal abuse laws into an section named “other” where the crimes of lesser significance were kept. With this the value of animal abuse crimes were viewed with less importance. It also made it tougher to find and track these crimes. This was not changed until early 2014 when it finally got its own category. The category of animal abuse has 4 subcategories; Simple/Gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse (such as cock and dog fighting) and animal sexual abuse. How did animal abuse get its own category? Well this is all thanks to the efforts of the Animal Welfare Institute and the National Sheriff’s association.Those are all of the major changes regarding the animal abuse laws.
But of course if the laws change that must mean that people are breaking them. There have been many cases in which people have infringed these laws that have been brought to the attention of the whole nation. One of those cases is the Michael Vick dog fighting case.
This case involves an NFL quarterback that haves a $130 million dollar contract and a animal-fighting, gambling ring.A young 21 year old Michael, along with his three associates, began a dog fighting operation named “Bad Newz Kennels. They purchased the property in Surry county, Virginia. They brought dogs from From Virginia and other nearby states to the new facility, since Vick became a registered dog breeder. Once all of the dogs had been placed into the new facility, the men evaluated the dogs’ performances in fights in testing sessions. The dogs that performed poorly were executed by various methods.
They hung about three dogs with a nylon cord. The drowned another three by placing the dogs’ head in a five gallon bucket filled with water. They electrocuted another and finally killed another dog by slamming it to the ground several times before in finally died, breaking the dog’s back and neck. On April 25 of 2007, Davon Broddie, Vick’s cousin, was apprehended on on drug charges. He had given Vick’s property as his address. When the police searched address they found things that led them to believe that there was a dogfighting enterprise. The things that they found were approximately 54 underfed pitbulls chained to car axels, a blood stained arena, performance-enhancing drugs used to increase fighting potential in dogs a parting stick that is used to pry dogs’ mouths, treadmills used to condition dogs and paperwork documenting involvement in animal fighting venues. Vick had blamed this on family member who lived there and stated that he never visited the dog fighting property.
In June a witness told federal investigators that there were burried dog carcuses. The investigators then asked the authorities to conduct a search warrant but authorities did not conduct it. After a week, officials, with the assistance of the U.S. department of Agriculture, executed their own search and what they found was 6-8 dog that were buried in mass grave sites.
In July 17, Michael Vick, along with his conspirators eventually pled guilty to the felony and started to cooperate with the authorities. Vick admitted to funding the dogfight/gambling operation. The NFL suspended Vick for an unspecified amount of time, without pay. Once he was freed from prison, he would be brought back. Five months later, two charges were brought against Vick: One count violating VA Code Ann. § 3.1-796.
124, which makes it a Class 6 felony to promote dogfighting for amusement, sport, or financial gain or to possess, own, train, transport, or sell any dog intended for animal fightingOne count of violating VA Code Ann. § 3.1-796.122(H), which makes it a Class 6 felony to engage in the torture, ill-treatment, beating, maiming, mutilation, or killing of animals.
CNN describes the case charges as: Surry County Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter said he pursued the case because “crimes that were not prosecuted were committed in Surry County.” But he would not say whether his prosecutors put Vick’s federal court admission that he killed dogs before the grand jury. “Come on, lady, how much do you need to know?” he told a reporter who was pressing the issue.
October 12 of 2007, VIck had pleaded guilty to the operation but had yet to admit taking a more hands on part of the operation. But that was about to change. After five hours of questioning, Vick admitted to killing to dogs. According to the assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gill, Vick described it as, “I carried a dog over to quanis Phillips, who tied a rope around its neck, I dropped the dog”The U.S.
District Court appointed professor Rebecca J Huss. from Valparaiso University as the guardian/special master to advise the court where the final destinations of the remaining 48 seized dogs. Through her guidance, the dogs were dispersed to eight different rescue organizations ranging from adoption, rehabilitation or lifetime care in sanctuaries, where they’ve been neutered.Michael Vick’s sentence went up from 18 months to 23 months in prison due to lying about his involvement in the operation and also lying about testing positive to a marijuana test. Vick also three years probation in which he cannot buy, sell or own any dogs. This was the end of a controversial case between an NFL quarterback and a dog fighting scheme.
Three years later, in December 2010, the now Philadelphia Eagle quarterback states that he has learned from his mistakes and would like to have a dog again but as a family pet.A New York times article followed up on the lives of some of the dogs that survived. This excerpt describes a dog named Georgia: So in the end the these dogs had been and seen the worst. They were forced to suffer and fight for their lives.
The had to go day for day fighting and performing for these people that enjoyed there suffering. yet they managed survive and found a ray of hope in new owners that give them the love and comfort that they need. In conclusion animal abuse laws were created to help out laboratory animals. Then the law began to evolve around time and now protect most animals. I hope in the future we will see a future where hunting for sport is banned, a future where man’s best friend can truly call us their best friend.
A future where we provide the same support that pets give to us. A future that can save animal of all shape and form.