Acts of violence or neglect made against animals are considered animal cruelty. Examples include overt abuse, dog fighting, and being neglected or denied the basic necessities of care, such as food, water, shelter, sanitation, grooming and veterinary care. Many people who witness, or hear about cruelty, are not aware that legal action can be taken to help stop the problem. Companion animals are covered by the State of New Jersey’s animal cruelty laws. Generally, animal cruelty can be divided into two categories: Neglect and Intentional Cruelty.
Neglect is the failure to provide an animal with the most basic of requirements of food, water, shelter and veterinary care. Neglect is often the result of simple ignorance on the animal owner’s part and is usually handled by requiring the owner to correct the situation. If the problem is not corrected, the animal may be removed from the neglectful person by law enforcement authorities. In some cases, the owner will simply turn the animal over to authorities because they no longer want the responsibility.
Intentional cruelty is often more shocking and usually an indicator of a serious human behavior problem. Intentional cruelty is when an individual purposely inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal. The NJSPCA has trained investigators with the authority to arrest and prosecute those individuals who have deliberately maimed, tortured or even killed animals. Someone who is violent towards animals may be violent towards family members or other people. Enforcement of Animal Cruelty laws is the primary responsibility of the NJSPCA and it’s investigators. We handle complaints daily in all 21 counties throughout the State.
How You Can Help
If you witness or hear about animal cruelty taking place, please contact us immediately on our Cruelty Hotline at 1-800-582-5979.