Animal cruelty is illegal across the United States, but the laws vary from state to state. Some statutes are more general or vague, while others have specific and detailed prohibitions on various ways of mistreating pets and other animals. Many states also have laws on transporting pets safely and protecting animals left in hot or cold cars.
In addition to state laws, local communities often have animal protection ordinances. For instance, many municipalities across the country either forbid or restrict chaining up dogs.
To learn about the animal cruelty laws in your state—and what to do if you witness animal abuse—click on the appropriate link below.