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Animal Cruelty – Cruelty to Animal is a Crime!

Animal Aid of Tulsa often rescues animals that are victims of animal cruelty. It is very disturbing and heart breaking to witness an act of animal cruelty and we want to share some information on what you can do to help stop animal cruelty and our hands-on experience - together, we can take actions against animal cruelty!


Part 1: Recognizing Animal Cruelty


Inflicting pain and suffering (intentionally or unintentionally) is animal cruelty. There are two kinds of animal cruelty: active and passive.


Active Cruelty (Acts of Commission, Direct Violence)

Active cruelty is a malicious act of violence against animals where a person has deliberately caused harm to an animal. It can be rare to witness acts of violence taking place, so watch for signs of active cruelty such as open wounds, multiple scars, limping, or inability to stand/walk. Animals that suffer direct violence also likely to exhibit behavioral signs such as hiding/running from people, crouching/cringing when approached by people, etc. However, it is not possible to determine if an animal is being abused based on their behavior alone.


Passive (Acts of Omission, Neglect)

Passive cruelty is neglect, where the basic needs such as food, water, shelter, or veterinary care are denied or inadequate. Examples of neglect are: starvation, dehydration, lack of/inadequate shelter, embedded collar, lack of grooming (matted coat, overgrown nails, etc.), and lack of veterinary care (parasite infestations such as mange or flea/tick infestation, untreated injuries or illnesses).

Oklahoma Law

Animal cruelty laws vary depending on where you live. Oklahoma State Law requires food, water, shelter, and veterinary care to prevent suffering. Failure to provide is a felony violation. Additional laws are posted below.


"§ 1685. Cruelty to animals Any person who shall willfully or maliciously torture, destroy or kill, or cruelly beat or injure, maim or mutilate any animal in subjugation or captivity, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to the person or to another, or deprive any such animal of necessary food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care to prevent suffering; or who shall cause, procure or permit any such animal to be so tortured, destroyed or killed, or cruelly beaten or injured, maimed or mutilated, or deprived of necessary food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care to prevent suffering; or who shall willfully set on foot, instigate, engage in, or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not exceeding five (5) years, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). Any animal so maltreated or abused shall be considered an abused or neglected animal.

Help Prevent Animal Cruelty"

Click here to continue reading - Part 2: What to Do When You Witness/Suspect Animal Cruelty 

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