Animal Cruelty: Where Do We Draw The Line?
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Animal Cruelty: Where Do We Draw The Line?


Animal cruelty is defined as a crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on an animal, usually a tame one, beyond necessity for normal discipline. The most common forms of animal cruelty are neglect, hoarding, and milling and the general public often overlooks them.


Animal neglect is a situation where the animal’s caretaker or owner fails to provide food, water, shelter, or veterinary care sufficient for survival. This treatment can be deliberate or unintentional, but most of the time is deliberate. Extended periods of neglect can lead to compromised health and/or death of the animal. The animal suffers from poor nourishment, untreated illness or wounds, and harsh weather conditions. In fact, animal control officers often find household pets frozen to the ground due to the extreme cold just several feet away from their homes where their caretakers live. 47 states currently have felony provisions for animal cruelty (those without are Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota).


Animal hoarding is when a person takes in far too many animals than can be cared for and becomes virtually blind to the animals suffering. Hoarders are often in denial that they can’t provide people care for their animals, and believe they are rescuing the animals they have when they’re actually harming them. Officers investigating hoarding cases often find animals and their caretakers living in disgusting conditions with feces and urine covering floors, counters, and furniture and in serious cases decaying dead animals are found among the living. Hoarders typically suffer from psychological and neurological disabilities such as dementia, OCD, PTSD, and ADD.

Puppy Mills   

A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis on making a profit above the animal’s welfare. There are an estimated 4,000 mills in the U.S. that produce more than half a million puppies per year. Most of the time mills are overcrowded and unsanitary without proper veterinary care, food, water, or socialization necessary for the puppies. Dogs often stacked in cages with wire floors to reduce waste clean up, and this is a completely legal practice. Sometimes after a female dog is too old to breed, she is killed because she is seen as “worthless” when it comes to making a profit. Red flags to look out for are if sold at less than 6 weeks old, the breeder is unwilling to show puppy’s parents, breeder doesn’t ask many questions to evaluate potential owners, or if the puppy is sold online. The Federal Animal Welfare Act requires breeders who have more than 3 breeding dogs and sell puppies to be inspected and licensed by the USDA, but many mills get away with the poor treatment of the animals because the standards they have to meet by law are so low.

Animal cruelty is a real issue that needs our attention. Our community needs to advocate for the cause before it gets any worse. If you can’t adopt animals in need and give them a loving home, there are many other ways to help including volunteering and raising awareness. In Lincoln, the Capital Humane Society receives thousands of homeless animals each year. Many of those animals play with, sleep on or are groomed with donated items. They greatly appreciate donations in the form of money or of the following items:

Non-clumping cat litter

Exam gloves-all sizes

High efficiency laundry detergent

Purina dog/puppy/cat & kitten food

Purina Small Bites


Large Trash Bags

Paper Towels

Ziploc sandwich bags

Collars & leashes-especially for large dogs

Timothy hay for small animals

Dog treats

Hand Sanitizer

Locations: 2320 Park Blvd. 6500 S. 70th Street

     Lincoln, NE 68502 Lincoln, NE 68516

   (402)-441-4488 (402)-441-4488


Volunteer information:

Adoption information:
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