The legal definition of animal abuse differs from state to state; however the sentiment is the same. Acording to the Sequoia Humane Sociey, any person found to have intentionally overworked, tortured, tormented or wounded any living animal is in violation of the state’s animal cruelty laws. The laws also extend to anyone who knowingly or neglectfully deprives an animal of adequate food, water or shelter. Persons are also prohibited from cruelly beating, mutilating or killing an animal.
These crimes, depending on the state, are punishable as either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the severity of the infraction. Owners of animals raised for fighting as well as any spectator to such as event are also in violation of these laws. Lastly, the abandonment of animals is also a crime and is covered under animal cruelty laws.