There is a difference between unintentional or intentional neglect and abuse. Unintentional neglect generally happens when the pet's owner is not aware how to properly care for the animal and may include:
- ignorant of the type and amount of food to feed the animal
- does not know the pet needs regular brushing or grooming
- may not understand signs of disease or distress in their pet
- may not be aware that someone else is hurting their pet or not understand the consequences of their actions
However, intentional neglect is when the owner purposefully does not feed or provide water, leaves the pet outside in harsh weather; forces the pet to live in a dangerous, unsanitary condition. Abuse can be easier to identify and may include witnesses someone choking, beating, kicking, etc., an animal*.
Report suspected animal cruelty to the authorities: your local police or sheriffs, county animal control agency, or your local humane society.
Read more about the OHS Humane Investigations Department.