thWhat Defines Abuse?

Animal neglect or abandonment is a common type of animal cruelty where people do not provide adequate care for animals in their charge. The neglected animal may be their own pet, a farm animal, or wildlife. A neglected animal is not provided with proper food, water, veterinary care, shelter and socialization. Chaining an animal for a long period of time can also be neglect and is considered illegal in many municipalities and several states.

Neglect may be deliberate abuse or simply a failure to take care of an animal. Either way, the offender is strictly punishable for such acts of animal cruelty. If the neglect is unintentional, correctional authorities try to correct the situation by making the owner aware of basic animal care requirements. Generally, legal systems and welfare agencies is prone to intervene in severe cases of animal neglect or in cases involving large numbers of animals.

Physical Signs of Abuse:

  • Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck 
  • Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated 
  • Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes 
  • Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible 
  • Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites 
  • Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes 
  • Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat 
  • Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally 
  • Heavy discharge from eyes or nose 
  • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal 
  • Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness

Environmental Signs of Abuse:

  • Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary 
  • Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter 
  • Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them 
  • Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals

Arkansas Laws Regarding Animal Abuse:

Arkansas anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  A person commits a misdemeanor if he or she knowingly abandons any animal , subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment, fails to supply an animal in his or her custody with a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water, fails to provide an animal in his or her custody with adequate shelter, kills or injures any animal belonging to another without legal privilege or consent of the owner, or carries an animal in or upon any motorized vehicle or boat in a cruel or inhumane manner. Aggravated cruelty to a cat, dog, or horse is a Class D felony if the offense involves the torture. To find out more, click here to see the Arkansas legislation of 2009 that made animal cruelty a felony.

Animal Cruelty is a Felony in the State of Arkansas!

What Can I Do to Make a Difference?

  1. Speak Up! If you know of or suspect you know about the abuse of an animal or multiple animals – report it to your local law enforcement agency. DO NOT go on their property since this is against the law and could interfere in the prosecution of a confirmed animal abuser. You can request a follow up report from your police department or contact a local animal welfare organization, like HSO, and ask that they follow up.
  2. Foster, Adopt or Sponsor an Abused or Neglected  Rescue Pet: You can make a huge difference for a dog or puppy that has never known the kindness and companionship of people. Large numbers of abused and neglected pets are rescued every year and homes are in great need.
  3. Vote! Make sure you take the time to vote in favor of any legislation that can enforce and make the prosecution of animal abuse easier and more effective. Each vote makes a difference!

For more information: Puppy Mills FAQ (ASPCA)