The Animal Welfare Act (AWA)

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With each passing day, there is unfortunately another dog cruelty case reported on television or posted on the Internet. These pet companions known as dogs are the most common victims of animal abuse and are “accounting for 64.5% of all documented cruelty cases that are media reported” (“Dog Abuse”). Most individuals only define dog abuse as “deliberately inflicting pain or simply the failure to take care of the animal” (“Animal Abuse”). However, as the United States’ population of “man’s best friend” increases up to nearly 80 million, so does the different forms of abuse (“Pets by”). There are countless other types of exploitation including: intentional torture, organized abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, experimentation, puppy mills, greyhound…show more content…
received a “D” rating which measured the country’s poor efforts to protect dogs with legislation and an absence of humane education (“World…show more content…
As of today, every state in the U.S. has a law prohibiting cruelty to dogs and penalties towards the perpetrator (“Animal Cruelty Statistics”). Although the U.S. was the first country in the world to enact laws to protect pet companions from cruelty and negligence, “it still continues to occur in every part of the country and in every type of community” (“Dog Fighting”). Forty-four years since the inception of the AWA, the Office of the Inspector General carried out an audit to the USDA/APHIS (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service); it revealed the failure to completely enforce the AWA in regard to Class B dealers, which are licensed dealers by the USDA to acquire dogs from unidentified sources and “sell them to research institutions for use in experiments” (“Fact Sheet”). In another instance, there are only 43 of 50 states that have a zero tolerance policy for this conduct in the country. This is because there are some states that only allow felony charges if the perpetrator has a previous animal cruelty conviction (“Animal Cruelty Statistics”). Regardless of whether if it is the perpetrator’s first-time offense, all states should enforce higher penalties for such malicious cruelty; which is an idea strongly supported by

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