What defines animal cruelty? Abandoning an animal? Leaving an animal at animal control without any information about health, likes, dislikes, behaviors etc? My daughter recently got a very small dog from a breeder. The animal was being kept in an outdoor cage in very cold weather. Does that qualify as animal cruelty? I see dozens of stories each week about abandoned dogs and cats who are injured, sick or on the verge of salvation. I wonder how many of their owners ever face even criticism from their peers, much less being held legally responsible for the condition of their animal. As a country we should be doing a much better job of taking care of our companion animals.