Protecting animals from unnecessary pain and suffering has been a component of many societies throughout history.
Animal cruelty is often broken down into two main categories: active and passive.
Passive cruelty is typified by cases of neglect, where the crime is a lack of action rather than the action itself - however do not let the terminology fool you. Severe animal neglect can cause incredible pain and suffering to an animal. Examples of neglect are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, allowing a collar to grow into an animal's skin, inadequate shelter in extreme weather conditions, and failure to seek veterinary care when an animal needs medical attention.
Active cruelty implies malicious intent, where a person has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to an animal.
When You Witness Animal Cruelty
It can be disturbing-and heartbreaking-to witness an act of animal cruelty.
If you witness animal cruelty, please call Animal Welfare or the Tulsa Police Department immediately. Tell the person answering the phone:
Describe the situation that you believe constitutes cruelty to the animal(s) and a description of any individuals and/or vehicles involved.
Cruelty to Animals Can Be a Predictor Crime. Those who have a history of repeated acts of intentional violence towards animals are at higher risk for exhibiting similar violence or lawlessness towards people in the future.
Cruelty to Animals Can Be an Indicator Crime. Paying attention to the victimization of animals can often lead to the discovery of people who have been harmed by the same perpetrator, (particularly domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse) or who are at high risk of being harmed.
Cruelty to Animals Destabilizes Communities. Many people see animals as truly innocent victims, so their victimization may be more disturbing than person-on-person crimes in which all parties may be seen as sharing some responsibility. Crimes involving animal cruelty can be seen as a classic example of "broken window" crimes, i.e., relatively "low-level" offenses that authorities may overlook, yet may be considered by members of the community as a sign that no one cares about violence and decay in their neighborhood. Effective enforcement of animal cruelty laws is increasingly seen as an important component of community-oriented policing.