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Animal abuse and neglect is a crime and should always be reported immediately.  


There are different levels of animal abuse and neglect, and some people may not realize they are doing anything wrong.  


Please don’t bury your head.  We are their voices, and we ask you to help us help them.  Please report animal abuse and neglect.  It is the right thing to do.



What is considered animal abuse or animal neglect?



Many people have different interpretations of what is considered "animal abuse". Identifying abuse or neglect can be harder than it seems. It is important that you look at the entire situation to determine if an animal is being abused or neglected, and to ascertain whether the abuse is intentional and/or malicious. Many times, what seems like neglect over a neighbor's fence may be misinterpreted, or may not fall within the legal definition of animal abuse.


There may be situations where you feel an animal is being neglected because they are not being treated the way you would treat a pet. An example might be a dog is left tethered in the back yard at all times. As long as the pet owner provides adequate food, water and shelter, they may not actually be violating any laws.


The legal definition of animal abuse or animal cruelty is what determines how law enforcement may respond to a reported incident. To help facilitate law enforcement's ability to prosecute animal abusers, it is important to collect factual information when you suspect abuse or neglect, and to place a report with the law enforcement agency in your jurisdiction.  Please, report abuse or neglect.


Indiana law defines animal cruelty as the malicious or intentional maiming, mutilation, torture or wounding of a living animal, and states that any person who overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary food, drink or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates or cruelly kills an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. Any person who owns, possesses, keeps or trains a dog with the intent to engage the animal in exhibition fighting, as well as any person who is knowingly present as a spectator at an exhibition of fighting of dogs, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, any person who willfully abandons any animal is guilty of a misdemeanor.


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