Animal cruelty does not just relate to the physical beating of an animal.
I think more people need to be educated on what actually is.
For my first example, food. Recently I have been made more aware of many people who find it strange that I do not allow my dog to eat what we do. Baker eats a working dogs dry mix food with no extras other than rice, occasionally vegetables, the very rare slither of chicken breast when I have some, a tiny cube of cheese even more occasionally than that, teaspoons of organic peanut butter once a month or so and these in the summer. Scraps from our plate are strictly forbidden and doggy treats limited.
What most people don't seem to realize is you rewarding their puppy dog eyes begging for your food is worse for them than saying no. Alot of our food is high in salt and random ingredients that are fine for us but poisonous for them. I urge you to check this page on the Canine Journal before feeding your dog any human food. Here are some of the most toxic foods at a glance -
Next up is something that narks me highly.
Researching your breed. Before buying any pet everyone should have the sense to looking into the requirements their desired breed has rather than choose an animal based on how 'cute' it is. Some people have kids, other work long hours, maybe they are old and can't walk far or have a small home, why would someone who cannot give the dog it's correct amount of exercise, space or attention subject it to a sub-par life. Lack of exercise obviously leads to built up energy and subsequently adverse behaviors.
Children teasing and rough playing with an animal can break it's temper and when the dog turns round to defend itself from the torment it's the one who is punished (usually put to sleep) rather than the actual cause of the problem. Owners of dangerous animals should be banned from keeping animals, full stop.
Linking to the previous point is training. Any dog can be trained, making the statement 'Blame the owner, not the breed' ring very true indeed. Dogs such as Staffys, Alsatians and Huskys are tarnished with the 'dangerous' brush and I've seen many people pull away or walk a longer route to bypass even my Border Collie Lurcher cross. Here are just a few photos I've sourced from some amazing dog owners to prove that when raised right any dog can be a giant softy!
Of course a huge part of mistreatment is indeed physical and mental abuse. From keeping an animal chained, caged and confined to beating, verbally abusing and leaving them in filthy living conditions. The over breeding and use of an animal specifically to generate an income also falls under this category. I couldn't bare to see my baby with so much as wet fur after a walk in the rain without toweling him off and giving him warm clean blankets to cosy up in, therefor my brain cannot comprehend how anyone could repeatedly harm an animal be it knowingly or unintentionally.
Please be aware of how you take care of your animals and report any cases you see/know of - you could save a life.
Lastly, just a huge shout out to one of my favorite doggy saviors. Go show Hope For Paws some love.