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Most of the time animal abuse occurs out of ignorance. Active cruelty implies malicious intent, as when a person has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to an animal, and is sometimes referred to as NAI (Non-Accidental Injury). Usually, the abuse was intentional. When an animal is being abused it may be indicators of serious psychological problems. Any human being that starves, beats, "game dogs", and dehydrates their dog or other animals deserves to never be able to own another animal and to spend a few years in prison/jail depending on how sever the case was.

More families in America have pets than children, The likelihood that women's shelter personnel will encounter women and children who have been threatened by batterers using animal abuse as a weapon is high. 64.1% of households with children under age 6, and 74.8% of households with children over age 6, have pets. 71% of pet-owning women seeking shelter at safe houses have reported that their partner had threatened and/or actually hurt or killed one or more of their pets; 32% of these women reported that one or more of their children had also hurt or killed pets.

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In this picture, the dog has a loss of skin elasticity due to severe dehydration.