That's the trouble. Animal cruelty kills us. Have you thought about what that means? Someone else is cruel to an animal, we die inside. Accuse us of cruelty, we die inside. They use this thing as emotional button-pushing in books like The Lady and Her Tiger. It genuinely hurts us, a psychic injury that they can exploit.
The people who push the buttons live on and for animal cruelty. We see that they actually perform the deed, using their ill-gotten powers to cover it up. They live on the backs of the animals that are cruelly treated and on the backs of animals that they cruelly tear from the arms of people who love them. Finger-pointing literally transfers our power to them for them to use and we give it away and we give up potential friends and allies. The current crap about hoarding mentally prepares us to give up our friends and relatives.
Because they profit from it, the swindlers literally do not consider factual innocence to be proof that any of us should be exempt from penalties that they assess against us. They don't consider our good works to be an exemption. Good works actually incense them as we've seen proven by their attacks against breeders and well-run menageries. The incensing takes the form of stimulating their greed for our property and money. (They see value that can be stolen.)
When animal cruelty kills us it enriches them. When animal cruelty kills us it makes us vulnerable to manipulations by those who live on and for animal cruelty. We let them do what they want because we are weakened by the way that animal cruelty "kills" us. When they see someone who does not allow himself to be vulnerable like that they descend upon him, accuse him of being an "animal abuser" and do what they can to make him miserable, to mentally break him. This sometimes gets physical. This has obviously never happened to me (joke). They have to break that one person because he is the tiger who guards the pass such that a thousand deer cannot cross, or maybe the cat who guards the mouse-hole so that a thousand vermin cannot get in. When others follow his example the exploiters become powerless.
When we are kind and caring owners, we do not deserve to be vulnerable to verbal attacks by the usual suspects who act like jerks and expect us to give them goods and services as a reward. We deserve to be able to hold up our kindness, our caring, and our innocence as a shield against false accusations, malicious accusations, and exaggerated claims based on a twisted morality. We also deserve to keep these as the basis of what we do with animals. We have earned it. We must defend our minds and our properties from these swindlers.