In the United States, state anti-cruelty acts regulate the treatment of companion animals. The anti-cruelty acts protect against intentional infliction of pain, suffering, injury and death on animals. Some states have protections against animal fighting as well. State anti-cruelty statutes as applied to companion animals often work to convict persons accused of animal abuse. In most states, pets are considered the property of their owners.
Training Law Enforcement to be Aware of Animal Abuse October 2012
Felony Animal Cruelty in NYS - Pace Law Review