Each state has its own laws governing “abuse and neglect.” Some are very strict, others just give a minimal definition and leave it up to the law enforcement officer to make a judgement. Not too many years ago it was legal to tie a horse up and beat it half to death. Even now, a lot of people just turn their back when it happens.
Starvation is the biggest complaint we receive, neglect comes second. Most of the cases we work on are
obvious, but other cases require testimony from witnesses who are sometimes reluctant to get involved. It’s a sad commentary on our society when abuse and neglect, be it a horse or a child, goes unreported because, “I didn’t want to bother anyone.”
There are counties in Texas that work closely with nonprofits in enforcing animal abuse laws. Unfortunately, there are a lot of counties that ignore the problem. Many counties don’t have the facilities to handle seizures, especially when large animals are involved, nor do they have the budget to feed them, provide vet care and documentation. There are answers to these problems but, until there is an organized effort to look at the answers, the status quo will remain.
Statutes by State
List of Animal Anti-Cruelty Laws By State.