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Warning Signs of Animal Cruelty

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7 Warning signs of Animal Cruelty


Subtle indications that may indicate an animal is at risk

Know your states animal cruelty laws

While most of us recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking, or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal cruelty, there are also several more subtle warning signs of animal cruelty to watch for that could indicate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse:


[Graphic by Coalition to Unchain Dogs]


  1. Howling or barking for a sustained period of time or hearing an animal cry in pain with higher pitched, more persistent vocal sounds than usual.

  2. Singed, matted, chronically or excessively dirty hair or fur.

  3. Wounds, unusual scars, hair loss, frequent limping often on different legs, or signs of improper nutrition such as weight loss or prominent visible ribs.

  4. Animals kept caged or tied with little room to move for long periods of time or without regular interaction with people.

  5. Lack of protection from the weather or debris-strewn living areas for animals.

  6. Collars, leashes, or halters so tight they visibly dig into the animal’s face or neck.

  7. A large number of animals coming or going from a property.