35 Disturbing Animal Abuse Statistics (2024 UPDATE)

Thousands of animal abuse cases are reported every day. However, animal abuse statistics reveal that most animal and pet abuse cases are never brought to light.

Take a look at some of the most shocking statistics and facts about animal abuse. They’ll help you fight animal cruelty and raise awareness.

Top 10 Alarming Animal Abuse Statistics and Facts

Animal abuse articles, such as this one, will help you discover more about animal abuse, why people abuse animals, and how to end this awful torture.

General Animal Abuse Facts and Statistics

There are various types of animal cruelty: organized cruelty (like dogfighting and cockfighting), neglect, and intentional cruelty, and many more.

Let’s see some actual numbers on animal abuse.

1. Statistics of animal abuse reveal that every 60 seconds, one animal suffers abuse.

(Sentient Media)

Even though today’s society is modern and advanced, people turn a blind eye to animal and pet abuse. In some cases, they condone it.

The abuse comes in many forms. Sadly, the effect it leaves on animals is always the same: fear, pain, and desperation.

2. Close to 65% of all abused animals are dogs based on stats about animal abuse.


Animal cruelty facts report that dogs are the most common victims of this cruelty. Moreover, this doesn’t refer to dogs in general but specific breeds.

Statistics show that one in four abused dogs is a Pit Bull. Some countries have banned this breed to prevent animal cruelty.

They’ve also banned this breed, intending to prevent Pit Bull attacks on people.

3. There are two types of animal abuse: passive and active cruelty.

(Animal Abuse)

Facts about animal cruelty reveal that passive cruelty mainly includes animal neglect cases.

These cases include improper shelter, dehydration, starvation, and so on.

On the other hand, active cruelty involves intentionally harming the animal.

This includes beating, whipping, and branding of animals, often resulting in their death.

4. Approximately 71% of people who are reported for domestic violence also abuse their pets according to animal abuse and domestic violence statistics.


Animal cruelty facts and stats show a clear correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse.

Victims of domestic violence have reported that their abuser has also maltreated their pet in the great majority of cases.

5. Around 88% of the families under investigation for child abuse are also reported for animal cruelty.

(National Sheriff’s Association)

The percentage of animal abuse is much higher in families with child abuse.

Unfortunately, abuse leads to more abuse, so statistics show that 26% of the people who abuse animals were abused in their childhood.

Children who witness domestic violence are three times more likely to abuse animals.

6. Children who are sexually abused are 5 times more likely to abuse animals as per statistics for animal abuse.

(National Sheriff’s Association)

In addition to this, children 10 years and older who abuse animals intentionally are two to three times more likely to have been abused.

Animal abuse is also characteristic of the development of violent adult offenders. Up to two in three adults who are violent offenders have an animal abuse history.

Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics in the US

The US is particularly cruel to animals. Each year, millions of poor, innocent souls die from abuse, experiments, and cruelty.

7. It’s estimated that the lifetime prevalence of animal abuse in US adults is 1.8% according to domestic animal abuse statistics.


Research has shown that men are the most likely to abuse animals.

African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, people with low income and education levels, and adults who live in the west US regions are more likely to be reported for abusing animals.

8. Statistics on animal cruelty reveal that very year, more than 10 million animals die from abuse in the US alone.

(Letters to the Next President)

However, as the animal abuse statistics for 2021 reveal, only 1,920 animal abuse cases are presented by the media every year.

Unfortunately, animal abuse still isn’t recognized as a severe issue in the United States, remaining an unpopular topic.

9. Every year, more than 6.5 million animals enter animal shelters according to animal abuse statistics in the United States.


Every year, helters in the United States accept around 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. According to the animal abuse statistics from the ASPCA, only 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted.

Half of them are cats, and the other half are dogs. However, most of those that don’t get adopted, around 1.5 million, are euthanized.

You can do your part and help out a foster animal by sending them a special Care Kit from the Animal Rescue Site.

They also have an array of great products, and each purchase goes to feeding animals in shelters.

10. The latest animal abuse stats reveal that each year, the US kills over 3 million mink for fur.


Stats on animal abuse show that one hundred million animals suffer each year because of the fur trade. They’re bred and raised on inhumane fur farms.

Their only purpose: to become a fashion accessory.

11. Over the last decade, there’ve been 483 drug-positive Greyhounds in Florida alone.


Greyhound racing is illegal in over 40 states. But that’s not stopping people from organizing illegal races.

To ensure a race win, breeders drug the dogs with cocaine, lidocaine, novocaine, industrial solvent DMSO, opiates oxycodone, and oxymorphone.

Racing Greyhounds are also confined in dog track cages that measure 36 inches by 36 inches by 42 inches.

They endure horrific injuries, pain, and wounds. Unfortunately, thousands of them die each year.

Sadly, it’s safe to assume that the number of Greyhound deaths is underreported.

12. Animal abuse statistics in America reveal that more than 100,000 horses are killed and processed for human consumption.


Fortunately, many slaughterhouses have been shut down over the years. Still, murdering horses for consumption continues happening.

The USDA even documented that 92.3% of the killed horses are in good health and could live a productive life if they weren’t killed.

13. On average, 250,000 animals every year are victims of animal hoarding.

(Animal Legal Defense Fund)

The most outrageous form of animal abuse is animal hoarding. Hoarders usually have hundreds of cats and dogs.

These creatures are malnourished, have serious medical issues, dental and eye illnesses, and psychological distress.

14. Statistics on animal abuse reveal that there are over 10,000 puppy mills in the United States.


Every year, these mills breed more than 2 million dogs for profit.

The problem with puppy mills is that they often exist in horrible conditions.

The puppies are not kept safe from cold, heat, or bad weather, and they spend their lives in wire cages stacked on top of each other.

15. A little over 100 thousand dogs are tested upon in US laboratories a year.


Animal abuse statistics show that some universities go so far as to take dogs from shelters to use them in their experiments.

They are most often used in toxicology studies. These studies typically involve harmful pesticides, chemicals, and pharmaceutical medications.

16. Every year, US labs abuse more than 19,000 cats.


In addition to this, thousands of cats are sold to schools for dissections and various projects.

These cats are most often homeless or adopted from shelters, just like in the case of dogs.

Animal Cruelty Statistics Worldwide

The rest of the world isn’t less cruel to animals. Here are even more horrific figures and facts.

17. Between 5,000 and 6,000 tigers in China currently live in captivity because of the traditional medicine industry.

(World Animal Protection)

The majority of Asian medicine doesn’t require wild animal products. Still, some subindustries create a horrible demand for big cat farming.

Lions and tigers are farmed and poached for their body parts and bones, which are used for making traditional remedies.

These animals are kept in tiny enclosures. And, animal abuse statistics from 2019 show that this hurts not only their bodies but their psyches, as well.

18. The UK’s RSPCA gets a call about animal abuse every 30 seconds.

(Lad Bible, NCBI)

The RSPCA’s cruelty hotline operates 24/7. According to animal cruelty facts from the UK, it gets more than a million animal abuse reports in one year.

Unfortunately, they’re able to solve just a little over 100,000 animal abuse cases in a year.

Moreover, animal cruelty statistics for Australia show a little brighter statistics. Aussies report 55,000–60,000 animal abuse cases a year.

19. One-third of parrot species are in danger of being extinct because of the exotic bird trade.


Millions of birds are illegally smuggled, traded, or sold on the black market to collectors or for illegal fighting.

The global trade of birds has had a significant negative impact, especially on parrots.

Due to the loss of their habitat, many parrot species are on the verge of extinction, according to animal abuse statistics from 2020.

20. Every year, more than 115 million animals in the world are used for laboratory experiments.


Most countries don’t collect or publish data about animal testing and research. So, it’s estimated that this number is much higher.

The US alone harms 15.6 million animals during experiments.

Moreover, lab animals like mice, rats, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates aren’t even included in official statements.

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The European Union abuses more than 23.5 million animals. The UK, France, and Germany are the top countries using these creatures.

21. Denmark slaughtered 15–17 million animals for mink fur that tested positive for Covid-19.


Before this, China was the biggest mink fur producer. However, authorities in Denmark justified their actions saying they were afraid new strains of the virus would get to humans.

They were concerned vaccines wouldn’t be effective against the new strain.

So, they simply slaughtered the animals and used their fur.

Animal Cruelty Cases on Animal Farms

Many people don’t even think about what farm animals go through so we can enjoy their eggs, milk, cheese, and meat.

The sad reality is that farm animals are tortured to produce as much food as possible.

22. About 97% of all tortured and killed animals are farm animals.


These animals aren’t seen as living beings—they’re mass-produced for the product they become: eggs, milk, meat, and leather.

These animals are drugged and confined only to produce more milk and eggs, breed more offspring, and die.

Factory farming is a business, and farmers need to cut all costs to maximize their profit.

23. One statistic on animal abuse reports that over 9 billion chickens are killed every year.


US slaughterhouses breed and kill 10 times more birds than any other animal.

Additionally, 300 million chickens are used for their eggs.

Moreover, no birds—chickens, hens, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc.—are protected by federal animal protection laws.

24. An estimated 95% of pigs get raised in factory farms that don’t allow them to live naturally.

(World Animal Protection)

Additional farm animal abuse statistics show that three in every four mother pigs are confined in cages during pregnancy.

These cages are the size of an average refrigerator and are so small they can’t even turn.

Factory farming is the most significant source of animal cruelty in the world.

25. Around 50% of all consumed fish are raised in artificial environments.


More often than not, fish are bred artificially instead of being caught in the wilderness.

People believe that fish can’t feel pain, but it’s been proven that along with pain, they also feel fear and suffering.

Further animal abuse statistics show that fish farming, or aquaculture, is one of the fastest-growing food production industries.

26. Dairy cows must give 10 times more milk than they would in nature.


Milking machines often cut the cows or cause them other injuries. Some even give them electric shocks, resulting in their death.

Usually, cows in nature live 20–25 years, but they’re killed after 3–5 years and used for meat on farms.

Wild Animal Abuse Statistics

People are more familiar with wild animal abuse. However, the statistics paint an even sadder picture than most people imagine.

27. The majority of the sloths used for entertainment and tourism die within 6 months of their capture.

(World Animal Protection)

In their natural habitat, sloths live a quiet, sleepy life, undisturbed by the global craze for “wildlife selfies.”

Unfortunately, sloths are the most commonly abused wild animals due to people seeking out “cute” photo opportunities.

When captured, they’re constantly surrounded by people and are therefore placed under high stress levels.

28. As many as 35,000 elephants are poached every year, according to animal cruelty statistics.

(National Geographic)

The elephant poaching crisis is currently at its peak. What’s even scarier, some elephant populations may very soon become extinct as a direct result.

At this moment, more elephants are being killed for ivory than are being born.

29. Animal abuse statistics worldwide reveal that over 100 million sharks are killed every year illegally, primarily to make shark’s fin soup.

(Animal Matters)

Furthermore, over 85% of the world’s fisheries have reached their maximum or surpassed it.

Additionally, animal abuse facts and information show that more than 650,000 marine mammals are seriously injured or killed every year because they get accidentally caught in fishing gear.

30. Approximately 75% of pet lizards, snakes, turtles, and tortoises die within the first year of becoming someone’s pet.

(World Animal Protection)

Wild animals that are kept as pets suffer because nothing can replace their natural habitat.

Whether they’re obtained legally or not, keeping wild animals as pets supports cruelty toward animals.

Statistics About Animal Abuse in the Entertainment Industries

Zoos, aquariums, and circuses may seem like a fun family activity. Sadly, what happens when the show is over will horrify you.

31. Lions and tigers have 18,000 times less space in zoos than they would in nature.

(Freedom for Animals)

It’s a fact that animals in zoos suffer immensely only because a zoo can’t provide as much space as they’d have in their natural habitat.

In fact, lions spend 48% of their time pacing in their enclosure, which signifies a behavioral problem.

32. Around 75% of zoos and aquariums break the basic mistreatment rules.


In the case of animal abuse in zoos, statistics reveal that most of the world’s zoos and aquariums offer visitors some interaction with animals.

This includes areas where people can pet and touch them. They train them for different shows, thus breaking the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) rules and animal cruelty laws.

33. Circus animals spend 96% of their lives in cages.

(Sentient Media)

Animal rights statistics reveal that most of these animals spend almost their whole lives in cages, transported from one city to another.

These animals are forced into submission, whipped, chained, and denied socialization with their own species.

Animal abuse in circuses is a significant problem as these animals are exploited continuously and left in terrible conditions.

34. Over the last 20 years, 35 documented dangerous incidents involved circus elephants.


These animals spend 11 months traveling in small cages, often eating, sleeping, and urinating in the same place.

Trainers usually use electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful methods to force the animals to perform.

This results in elephants bolting from circuses.

Some of the circus animal abuse statistics show that elephants have run through streets and attacked people. They’ve also crashed into buildings and injured or killed handlers in these accidents.

35. Since 1990, 126 big cats have died in US circuses because of their confinement.

(PETA Kids)

Additionally, more than 255 people have been injured, and 26 have died in accidents with big cats from circuses.

Circus training sessions aren’t monitored by the government. Still, undercover footage has shown that big cats are often hit with sticks and dragged by chains around their necks.


What is animal abuse?

Scientific animal cruelty articles reveal that animal abuse and cruelty don’t just include physical harm, but psychological, as well.

Torturing and beating animals, confining or transporting them in the wrong way is considered animal abuse.

Moreover, killing them in inhumane ways and not giving them proper food and hydration or medication are also considered forms of animal abuse.

Why do people abuse animals?

There can be numerous reasons for animal cruelty. Most of the people who abuse animals feel like they’re under other people’s control. They feel they have no power or that they’re unnoticed.

Many want to shock or threaten other creatures as a way to demonstrate their power. Others just project what has been done to them.

What are the best ways to stop animal abuse?

There are some methods that everyone should practice.

The best way how to stop animal abuse is by being a responsible pet owner, first and foremost. Only you can fulfill your pets’ needs and show kindness to other pets and give shelter to animals in need.

If you witness animal cruelty, you should immediately report it.

Furthermore, you should educate people around you about animal cruelty. Animal Cruelty Prevention Month (April) is a great time to start spreading your knowledge.

Children should also be taught from an early age how to respect and care for animals.

How many animals are abused each year?

It’s challenging to make a precise estimation. We know that every year 10 million animals die from abuse. We also know that 100 million animals are used for lab experiments.

However, not all abuse cases are reported, so we can safely say that more than 100 million animals suffer abuse every year.

Where does animal abuse happen the most?

Animals in Asia are by far the most abused ones. Asia doesn’t have many laws that protect animals from cruelty and exploitation.

This makes it easy for people to capture and cage bears for their bile, or slaughter cats and dogs for their meat.

Animal cruelty is also common in zoos, safari parks, and circuses in China and Vietnam.

Wild animals are usually kept in small cages and chains. This causes great psychological damage. Some wild captive animals even self-harm because of frustration.

What are examples of animal cruelty?

As we already mentioned, there is passive (neglect) and active (abuse) cruelty.

Neglect includes failing to provide animals with basic things, such as food, water, shelter, and vet care.

Neglect is a passive type of cruelty because it’s typically caused by pet owners’ ignorance.

On the other hand, abuse or active (intentional) cruelty is much more horrible. It includes the intentional causing of physical pain or injury. Maiming, torturing, and killing animals are just a few examples.

Is killing animals a crime?

You should know that anti-cruelty laws exist in all 50 states.

However, they may differ from state to state, so you should check your state’s law for precise details.

Generally, killing animals is a crime. And we’re not talking about euthanasia.

Anyone who intentionally and maliciously kills an animal could face jail time in their state or county jail. Or, they may be required to pay a fine of up to $20,000.

There’s also the possibility of a combination — imprisonment and a fine.

What state has the toughest animal cruelty laws?

Every year, The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) publishes a list of the best and worst states according to their animal protection laws. The latest data reveals that in 2019:

  • The best states included: Illinois, Oregon, Colorado, Maine, and Rhode Island.
  • The worst states were: Wyoming, Kentucky, New Mexico, Iowa, and Mississippi.

Illinois’ laws state that animal fighting is a RICO offense while animal fighting provisions are a felony.

Moreover, the maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty is five years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.

Which state has the highest animal cruelty rate?

With more than 113 reported animal cruelty cases per 100,000 people, Delaware takes this unfortunate win. The state recently passed a law that should protect dogs from life-threatening weather.

The law is supposed to prevent dogs from being tied outside for more than nine hours in extremely cold or hot weather.

Can you go to jail for killing a dog?

Yes, you can. As we mentioned, the laws differ from state to state, so the imprisonment duration can vary. However, killing animals unjustifiably will get you in jail. And (again, depending on the state) you’ll probably have to pay a hefty fine.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, as these animal abuse statistics have shown, animal cruelty is a genuine issue that takes millions of victims every year.

People should be aware of some animals’ daily struggles and give their best to help them. We hope that these statistics and facts will raise awareness of animal cruelty and help stop it.


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  5. Thanks so much for the excellent statistics and your obvious dedication to mitigating the obscene acts of cruelty perpetrated by humans. Animal agriculture is the vilest industry in my opinion – spawned by hatchlings of Satan. This is the one that is a cause for public outrage and insomnia yet these are a protected species – the untouchables.

  6. With #8 I feel that statistic is far too low. I don’t think I’ve ever met another pet owner who doesn’t abuse their animal in some way. Also nearly every social media photo post you see, every internet video, every “cute” story pet owners share, all show glaring signs of abuse and neglect, not to mention how many people display abusive behavior to others (If you’ve ever tried “people watching”, it quickly becomes depressing to see how awful people actually are) that would be a warning sign that they also abuse animals. If I had to guess, the prevalence of people who abuse animals would be somewhere in the rough estimate of 70-90%.

  7. Good answers in return of this matter with firm arguments and explaining
    all about that.

    1. Hello, each fact and statistic is backed by a reliable source. You can find the links for all the resources at the bottom of each article and follow them back to confirm. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find data on the horrible abuse that happens behind closed doors, but we’ve gathered all the research data we could find and combined it in our detailed statistics article. We hope you’ve found it helpful!

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