There are many things humans do to animals that can be considered cruel. Because there are so many issues of cruelty to animals I will write 3 articles, one on cruelty to wild animals, one on cruelty to livestock, and one on cruelty to pets. This article is in regards to cruelty to pets. Please feel free to add comments to share any other areas of cruelty to pets that concerns you.
Poor Treatment of Farm Cats
Some farmers think, incorrectly, that farm cats will catch more mice if they are underfed, or even starved. In general farm cats tend to be poorly cared for, seldom vaccinated, rarely wormed, and often not even spayed or neutered. Not spaying or neutering farm cats leads to other problems, one being more kittens than the farmer wants. As such many farmers drown unwanted kittens, and there have been reports of kittens put in bags and tossed onto the road.
Some people torture pets for different reasons. Sometimes this is done to "punish" the owner, as when a relationship, or friendship, goes wrong. Sometimes pets are tortured because people do not like them. This is often the case when cats are let loose in a neighborhood, a property owner becomes tired of cats digging in his garden and responds by torturing the cat.
Cruel Punishment for “Bad” Pets
Some people punish their pets for what they see as bad behavior, digging, barking, or peeing on the sofa. Not only does the punishment often take cruel forms but sometimes the bad behavior was the result of owner error, or a health condition. Dogs that dig, or bark, are often bored. Urinating inappropriately can be a sign of a urinary tract infection or a male animal that needs to be neutered.
Many domestic animals that are often kept as pets are sometimes used in laboratories for testing products. Rabbits, rats, mice, and dogs, being the most common. Experiments can involve chemicals being placed in an animal's eye, or by altering its genes and even producing chimera animals that have human parts growing inside them.
Not only are dogs injured and killed in dog fighting, but hundreds of other animals, sometimes even “free to good home” kittens and puppies, are used as bait animals; used to train the fighting dog to kill. These bait animals sometimes have their teeth pulled out so they cannot injure the fighting dog.
Horse racing and greyhound racing is cruel. Yes, they love to run, but the training methods are sometimes cruel. Thoroughbred horses are often raced at two years of age, a time when some other horses, such as warmbloods are still two years away from training. Pushed to race at top speeds while they are still immature, many do not have long careers. Those that become lame, or are not up to speed are culled. In the greyhound industry more dogs are produced than are raced, again, those not up to speed are culled, there are not enough homes for them all, many are slaughtered.
Sometimes people keep extreme exotic pets for vanity reasons. They think they are cool because they own a tiger, wolf, or alligator. Sadly many of these pets do not have good care, they are often discarded when they become “too big” to be managed, or the person can no longer afford the upkeep. There are additional vanity pets such as fish worn live in tiny bags, as decoration, in Japan, a trend that is starting to fade.
Many fish are kept in tanks far too small for their requirements. Betta fish and Goldfish are often kept in tanks far too small for their normal requirements and are sometimes flushed alive when people get bored with them. Some collection methods for marine fish involve pouring poisons into the water and collecting the stunned fish, but the toxins often kill coral and smaller fish.
Other animals are also often kept in small cages, hamsters, birds, and many other pets, are often kept in small cages that fit our homes, but not the pet's needs for room or mental stimulation. Birds where built for flight, so why are so many bird cages tall and skinny? In the wild some animals might cover a mile or more, yet they are kept in cages no larger than a few square feet, if even that.
Cruel Mass Breeding
There are many aspects of pet breeding that are cruel, puppy mills being the most notorious – where breeding dogs are kept in tiny cages pumping out puppy after puppy with no human interaction, play with other dogs, or any attention given to health or welfare of the parents. There are similar breeding operations for other animals. The United States Humane Society reports over 4 million pets are euthanized every year simply because more are produced than there are homes for, so breeding even more animals, and especially in “mill” situations, only makes things worse.