First two years of NIBRS Data of animal cruelty crimes

Dr Nuria Querol1, Prof. Miguel Angel Soria1, Prof. Alba Company1, Prof. Ariadna Trespaderne1, Forest Service District Ranger Jose Miguel de Pablo3

1Profiling And Crime Behaviour Analysis Group, Law School, Univ. Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain,

2Institute of Legal Medicine, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain,

3Agents Rurals (Forest Rangers), Sta Perpetua, Catalonia, Spain

The FBI has published the first two years’ worth of data on animal cruelty statistics since  added as a crime against society to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2016. Law enforcement agencies in 13 states reported 599 incidents of simple or gross (animal hoarding) neglect, 523 incidents of intentional abuse and torture, 12 cases of organized animal abuse (animal fighting), and 9 cases of animal sexual abuse. In 2017, agencies using NIBRS represented 106 million people—only 32 % of the U.S. population—but still up from 31 % in 2016. The agencies participating in NIBRS reported 3,200 instances of animal cruelty in 2017, or one for every 33,000 people. In 2016, the agencies reported about 1,100 instances, or one for every 90,000 people. Officers arrested about 760 people for animal cruelty in 2017, of whom 96 % were adults. About 70 % of known animal cruelty instances occurred in homes. Only about 3 % involved suspected drug or alcohol use. Analysts caution the data are not yet developed enough to identify any trends because: animal crimes were added to NIBRS only in 2016; not all states participate in NIBRS; and many humane and animal control agencies are not part of police or sheriff’s offices and have not yet established procedures with local law enforcement to share their case information for uploading into the NIBRS system. The data also may be lacking, in part, because animal cruelty often is investigated by agencies separate from municipal or county police departments.


Medical Doctor, Biologist and Criminologist. Prof. Profiling and Crime Behaviour Analysis Group Law School, UB. National Sheriffs’ Association, NLECAA Advisory Board Member, USA. NSA’s Member of the  DV and Crime Victim Services and Animal Cruelty Committee, USA. Member of the Deontology Comission, Barcelona Medical Board. Member of the working group on DV of the Catalan Society of Family Physicians. Representative of the Council of Medical Societies at the National Comission Against DV, Government of Catalonia. Representative of the Council of Medical Societies at the Working Group on Sexual Violence & Stalking of the National Comission Against Domestic Violence, Government of Catalonia.


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