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Animal cruelty statistics make for harrowing reading. If you have a sensitive disposition, then discretion is advised. While there will be no graphic images below, the matter of animal abuse statistics is upsetting.

Abuse happens in many ways. Something mild, seemingly innocent, or even well-intended can still constitute animal abuse. Animals are majestic creatures, and each breed has a detailed set of care requirements.

The true extent of animal cruelty is rarely discussed, with less than 0.01% of abuse cases given media attention.

Most Distressing Stats at a Glance

What is Animal Abuse?

Animal abuse involves deliberate actions that inflict pain, suffering, or death on an animal. The ASU states it can range from temporarily not providing necessary care to intentionally killing or repeatedly torturing an animal.

Animal cruelty facts and statistics show that these abuse cases are rising. It’s important to understand that animal cruelty extends beyond domestic animals and covers everything from wild animals and farm animals to circus animals and laboratory animals.

Animal Abuse Statistics

10 Million Animals Are Abused To Death Each Year in the US (

Texas leads with nearly 7,000 cruelty offenses. Delaware, Colorado, Virginia, and Tennessee complete the Top 5, each having offense numbers more than double the national average during the analyzed period.

Asia Has the Highest Rate of Animal Cruelty (Animals Asia)

The Asian subcontinent has a storied history of animal abuse, from the ten million dogs killed annually for meat in China alone to bile-farming bears. Animal cruelty laws in Asia are lacking compared to other parts of the world.

Globally, More than 5 Million Horses Are Killed and Processed for Human Consumption (

While the United States shuttered its horse slaughterhouses in 2007, there are still 77 countries that slaughter horses for their meat.

In 2018, more than 1.75 billion lbs of horse meat was processed for consumption across the world. This equates to over 5 million horses.

Over 8,000 tigers are in 200+ centers across East and Southeast Asia. (WWF)

It may be surprising, but there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild. In the US alone, around 5,000 tigers are kept in private hands.

5,000 to 6,000 Tigers Currently Live in Captivity in China (EIA)

what is animal abuse

In Chinese medicine, tiger parts are used to treat all manner of ailments. There are less than 4,000 wild tigers remaining on the globe. Yet almost 6,000 are farmed in China.

Because of the Exotic Bird Trade, 1/3 of Parrot Species Are on the Verge of Being Extinct (AWI)

Parrots and other exotic birds are the largest representation of captive wild animals. The desire to have wild birds as pets has seen as many as a third of all parrot species driven close to extinction.

More than 12,000 Species Are Being Trafficked Globally in the Wildlife Trade (IFAW)

A 2018 report by the IFAW reported that 12,000 protected wildlife specimens were available for sale across 5,000 different advertisements. These numbers were reported over just a 6 week period!

Every Year, Thousands of Endangered Species Are Killed for Their Body Parts Illegally Traded in Illegal Markets (WWF)

Poaching of endangered animals sees their body parts and organs illegally traded on the black market. Studies showed that between 2007 and 2013, Rhino poaching in South Africa increased by 7,700%.

US Animal Abuse Statistics

US Animal Abuse Statistics

A Study Found That About 1.8% of U.S. Adults, or Around Two Out of 100 People, Engage in Animal Cruelty (NCBI)

This study stated that animal brutality is often seen in young, poor men with a family history of antisocial behavior. They may have conduct disorders as children and develop antisocial, obsessive-compulsive personality disorders or gambling problems as adults.

In 2023, 6.5 Million Animals Entered US Animal Shelters (SAC)

Approximately 4.8 million animals are adopted from shelters annually. However, 6.5 million animals (earlier, 6.3 million) enter the shelter system every year, which means that animal shelters are becoming more overcrowded. This is partly why close to one million shelter animals are euthanized every year.

In 2023, ASPCA aided over 400,000 animals nationwide across all 50 states (ASPCA)

For the 10th consecutive year, human medications are the top toxin reported, with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs accounting for nearly 17% of the APCC’s calls.

Over 1.3 Million Mink Killed for Fur in the US (Humane Society)

what is considered animal neglect

The new figures indicate a huge decrease in demand, sparing millions of mink from suffering and death, which were previously used for hat poms or fur trim on gloves and shoes.

Over 10,000 Puppy Mills Work in the United States (The Humane Society)

Puppy mills are factory farms that see dogs abused and denied the essential qualities of life in the name of breeding and profit.

It is believed that over 10,000 puppy mills exist in the United States, with Missouri being the leading state for puppy-farmed dogs.

126 Big Cats Killed in US Circuses since 1990 (PETA)

Not only have 126 big cats died as a result of circus captivity, but 250 humans have been badly injured, and 23 have lost their lives.

49 States Have Penalty Laws for Animal Torture (HSLF)

Laws for Animal Torture

With the exception of Iowa, the remaining 49 US states have felony-based punishments for first-time animal torture and abuse offenses.

Animal Slaughterhouses Kill over 10 Billion Land Animals per Year in the US (FWW)

Meat is big business. Each year, nearly 10 billion animals are killed in U.S. slaughterhouses, which means over 18,825 animals are killed every minute.

More than 55 billion land and sea animals die annually to support the U.S. food supply (Animal Clock)

To put this in perspective, over 60 million people were killed during World War II, the deadliest conflict in human history. The same number of animals are killed every ten hours to support the American food supply.

Over 2,000 Chimpanzees Currently Remain in Captivity in the US (Project Chimp Care)

animal captivity

Chimpanzees are family animals and need to live in groups of 15 – 150. There are only around 200,000 chimpanzees left in the wild. Yet over 2,000 remain in captivity in the US alone.

Animal Testing Statistics

animal testing

More than 115 Million Animals Are Used for Laboratory Experiments Every Year Worldwide (HSI)

Each year, 115 million animals, including dogs, cats, mice, rats, and monkeys, are all abused in the name of science. Yet, 95% of drugs that pass on animals used for testing are never approved for human use.

14,000 Cats Are Abused in US Laboratories Annually (PETA)

More than 14,000 cats are abused in labs for scientific research in the US. Additionally, tens of thousands of cats are killed and sold to schools for classroom dissections. According to statistics, the number of cats in the US was estimated to be around 61 to 62 million, and roughly 660 million to one billion kitties worldwide.

Animal Abuse Cases

One Animal Suffers Abuse Every Minute (National Today)

animal abuse

One animal suffering abuse every 60 seconds puts the extent of cruelty into stark perspective. Sadly, the law enforcement often fails to protect animals suffering abuse, as much goes under the radar.

In 2021, Almost 600 Animal Cruelty Cases Were Reported Within the First Two Months (Wildlife Conservation Society)

The Covid-19 pandemic is to blame for a significant rise in the number of reported abuse cases. The number of abused animals rose with everybody in their homes and tensions rising.

51,505 complaints of alleged cruelty were investigated (and closed) in 2021 (RSPCA)

There were 1,081,018 calls received by the RSPCA cruelty line from members of the public. In 2021, the authorities investigated and concluded 51,505 reported cases of suspected cruelty to animals. Unfortunately, less than 0.01% of animal and pet abuse cases get reported.

Circus Animals Spend the Majority of Their Lives in Confinement (Icps)

Animal Abuse Cases

Nearly 96 percent of a circus animal’s life is confined within chains or cages. Many circus animals are kept in horrendous conditions, and many exhibit physical and psychological health problems as a result.

Fishing Gear Results in 300,000 Marine Mammals Being Killed Every Year (WWF)

Commercial fishing gear not only catches the fish it’s designed for, but approximately 300,000 unsuspecting whales, dolphins, and marine wildlife get caught in what is termed a ‘bycatch.’

85% of Catastrophic Racehorse Injuries Are a Result of Being Overworked (Horse Racing Sense)

Racehorse Injuries

The impact of horseracing on a horse’s health and well-being is often overlooked. Many racehorses are not given sufficient time to rest between races. As a result, 85% of catastrophic injuries are a direct result of being overworked.

Statistics About Dogs

Almost 689,000 Cats and Dogs Are Euthanized Each Year (SAC)

Statistics About Dogs abuse

Although non-live outcomes are increasing for both cats and dogs, more dogs (359,000) were euthanized than cats (330,000). Shelter euthanasia accounts for 9% of total animal intakes.

Dogs Make up 65% of All Abused Animals (Fabiosa)

A dog is a man’s best friend. Yet animal abuse statistics reveal that dogs are the most abused animals globally. From greyhound racing to factory farms, dogs are subject to unending intentional cruelty.

Dogfighting and Cockfighting Kill Many Animals Each Month (The Humane Society)

Dog and cockfighting include felony provisions in all fifty states. However, events still exist and result in the senseless deaths of dogs and chickens every month. Pit bulls are the dogs most commonly killed due to dog fighting.

80% of Dog Cruelty Cases Were Reported in 2019 (ASPCA)

Increased awareness of animal welfare and a concerted effort to address the problem have led to an increased number of cruelty cases being reported. While the number of animals suffering abuse is high, many of these cases would have gone unreported in prior years.

Over the Last Decade, Illegal Races Resulted in 400 Drug-positive Greyhounds in Florida Alone (ALDF)

Greyhound racing is a huge business, and the owners will do whatever it takes to win. Greyhounds are often drugged, and female dogs are regularly given anabolic steroids to keep them racing. In the past ten years, over 400 racing greyhounds have tested positive for drugs like cocaine, novocaine, oxycodone, and lidocaine.

RSPCA Received 9,776 Reports Made About Intentional Harm to Dogs (RSPCA)

In 2022, the RSPCA received 9,776 reports of intentional harm to dogs, up from 8,176 in 2021 and 7,691 in 2020, marking a 27% increase over three years. This means that in 2022, 27 dogs were cruelly treated every day—more than one every hour.

Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse

Animal Abuse is Present in Many Violent Homes Where Physical Child Abuse Also Happens (

One study found that 16% of offenders began by abusing animals and later committed violent crimes against humans. However, in many cases, offenders start by hurting other humans and then move on to harming animals.

1 in 3 Owners Abuse Their Pet in Some Way (Jane Goodall Institute)

Not all abuse is physical or active. Passive cruelty is a huge part of the problem. A third of pet owners abuse their animals in some way.

71% of People Involved in Domestic Violence Abuse Their Pets (MedCrave)

There is a strong link between pet abuse and domestic violence. Domestic violence survivors have reported remaining with their abuser until they knew they could take their abused animal.

88% of the Families Reported for Child Abuse Also Responsible for Animal Cruelty (American Humane)

A study by DeViney, Dickert, & Lockwood found that 88% of households responsible for suspected child abuse and neglect were also perpetrators of intentional abuse on pets.

Animal Abuse by Sexually Abused Children Is Five times More Likely (

A study found that children who live in violent homes are three times more likely to abuse animals. Child sexual abuse victims are five times more likely to abuse and kill animals.

Men under 30 Are Most Likely to Abuse Animals (The Humane Society)

animal abuse

Whether it’s due to the culture of toxic masculinity and young men needing to ‘prove’ themselves or not, abuse on animals is more prevalent in men under the age of 30.

Animal Hoarding

Animal Hoarding Results in 250,000 Animals Being Killed Every Year (ALDF)

Women over 60 are more commonly accused of animal hoarding, with 72% of hoarders being female, and cats are the most commonly hoarded animals.

The consequences of animal hoarding result in a quarter of a million animals dying per year.

Since Being Considered a Mental Disorder in 1999, Animal Hoarding Has Increased (NIH)

Statistics revealed that 83% of reviewed animal hoarding cases involved women. Of that, 71% were widowed, divorced, or single.

Farm Animals Abuse Statistics

97% of All Abused and Killed Animals Are Farm Animals (

Farm Animals Abuse Statistics

There are no active federal animal protection laws in the United States. As a result, 97% of animal torture is directly linked to farm animals.

Animals are kept in cramped conditions and fed, drugged, and maintained simply to get the most eggs, meat, or milk.

Almost 99% of farm animals are raised on farms (Humane League)

On factory farms, animals have no control over their lives. According to the Humane League, they are bred to grow rapidly to be turned into products as quickly as possible.

Around 50% of All Consumed Fish Are Raised in Artificial Environments (NewScientist)

fish statistics

Not only is fish the most commonly farmed meat in the world, but sustaining the farmed fish means further depletion of wild fish populations.

While over half of all fish are raised in an artificial, farmed environment, many of these fish are carnivorous and fed other wild fish.

Cows’ Lifespan Reduced from Around 25 Years to Almost Five Years (The Humane League)

Dairy cows have a natural life span of around 15 to 20 years; however, after five years, most dairy cows are sent to slaughter as this age often impedes their milk production.

Excessive milking is another form of abuse, as it speeds up nature by reducing a cow’s lifespan by up to 80%.

More than 80 Billion Land Animals Are Slaughtered for Food Every Year (

Land Animals abuse

Latest stats show almost 80 billion animals are killed for food annually. Chickens are the most slaughtered animals, according to statistics, accounting for approximately 65 billion animal deaths annually.

Over 1 Billion Animals Are Killed for Their Skins Yearly (PETA)

The leather market is valued at almost $500 billion and sees over 1 billion animals killed per year for their skins and hides.

According to Richard Swain, a vice president and investigator at the Humane Society, the alarming reality is that over 2 million dogs and cats are brutally killed annually for their fur, with the majority of these pelts originating from Asia.

Animal Abuse Facts

Most Sloths Used for Entertainment and Tourism Die Within Six Months of Their Capture (World Animal Protection,

Sloths are quiet animals. They enjoy a peaceful life, and when taken from their natural habitat and surrounded by tourists, and made to pose for countless photo opportunities, the stress can negatively impact their health, resulting in their deaths.

35,000 Elephants Are Poached for Ivory Every Year (AWF)

elephant poaching

Not only are 35,000 elephants being killed every year, but the reality is that more elephants are being poached than are born each year.

To Make Shark Fin Soup, More Than 73 to 100 Million Sharks Are Illegally Killed (Shark Research Institute)

Shark fin soup has become a delicacy that often sells for more than $100 a bowl. As a result, 73 to 100 million sharks are killed each year for the fins.

Approximately 75% of Lizards and Reptiles Kept as Pets Die Due to the Loss of Natural Habitat (PETA)

endangered  reptiles

Many reptiles and tortoises can live for anywhere between 10 and 100 plus years. Yet the stress of being placed into captivity sees three-quarters of exotic pets die within the first year of being bought.

Around 75% of Zoos and Aquariums Don’t Follow Treatment Rules (

In a study of 1,241 venues, over 75% of them were found to be breaking human-animal interaction regulations and advisories that had been given to them. These include animal shows and petting experiences.

Reported Animal Cruelty Cases Tripled Between 2016 to 2017 (American Veterinary Medical Association)

Animal Cruelty

A report on animal abuse statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System revealed that the number of cruelty cases reported tripled between 2016 and 2017.

In 2016, 1 in 90,000 people were reported for a total of 1,100 cases. In 2017, this rose to 1 in 33,000 people or 3,200 cases.

How Can Animal Abuse Be Stopped?

Animal abuse can be stopped by better educating people on correct animal care. However, the extent of abuse on animals is so large the only way to tackle it effectively is through a multi-faceted approach. Below are the core ways this abuse can be stopped.

How Can Animal Abuse Be Stopped
  • Criminalize animal abuse
  • Crackdown on the exotic pet trade
  • Better education for people on animal care.
  • Crackdown on animal testing
  • Better monitoring of animals housed in commercial settings

The HSUS is an organization looking to stop animal abuse across the full spectrum of cruelty to animals.

There is a strong link between animal cruelty and domestic abuse. The PAWS Act works to stop this cruelty by giving domestic violence victims a feasible option for escape from animal abusers.

The true extent of this abuse is so extensive and twisted through so many levels of society that it will take a massive and concerted effort from individuals as well as corporations to put an end to it.

Speak up when you see abuse happening. Report serious abuse and volunteer to help at a shelter. Make a donation to one of the different animal welfare societies. Even the smallest action can make a big change when everybody does something.


How many animals are abused each year?

More than 10 million animals are abused annually in the United States alone. Additionally, it’s important to consider that 110 million animals die in US Laboratories annually.

Is animal abuse a felony?

Animal abuse is often classified as a misdemeanor if the actions are negligent or intentional. However, it becomes a felony if done maliciously or with “extreme indifference to life.”

Do animals have rights?

According to PETA, people often ask if animals should have rights, and the answer is a clear “Yes!” Animals deserve to live free from suffering and exploitation.


Animal abuse statistics make for a hard reading. However, they are the cold truth that needs to be seen and understood. Animals are entitled to live their lives free, just like anybody else. The issue will only worsen if more efforts are not directed toward maintaining animal welfare.

Animal cruelty statistics reveal a somber reality, underscoring the urgent need for awareness and action. Each number represents a living being subjected to suffering, reminding us of our shared responsibility.

As we reflect on these figures, let us be inspired to advocate for the voiceless and work towards a more compassionate world for all creatures.

While many national and international laws protect animals in various ways, there is a large onus on individuals to keep their eyes open and report abuse when they suspect it.

By admin

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