Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
People who are cruel to animals are more likely than others
to be cruel to humans too,
says a 1997 report from the Humane Society of the United States
The study, on the link between animal cruelty and human violence, was based on 401 newspaper accounts of animal cruelty between Sept. 1, 1996 and Aug. 31, 1997. It found the majority of abusers,71 percent were men, and those men committed eighty-seven percent of the cases of abuse. Among abusers of animals, twenty-eight percent were also charged with domestic violence, twenty-seven percent with child abuse, ten percent with assault and six percent with murder.
Hurting animals often a sign of abuse
Springfield, Oregon: Friends of 15 year old Kipland Kinkel of Springfield, Oregon say he displayed all of the classic signs of violence, often bragging about torturing and killing small animals. Reports indicate that Kinkel killed cats, possibly his own family's cat, and a cow.
He also has a fascination with guns and a quick temper that led him to be expelled from school twice in one week, for acts of violence against fellow students. He was accused of murdering both of his parents, then going on to his high school to open fire on his schoolmates, killing 2 and injuring another 22, on May 22, 1998. Police also found four bombs in his home
In a press releases from the Humane Society of the United States
The tragedy in Oregon clearly illustrates the connection between animal cruelty and human violence," said Dr. Randall Lockwood, a psychologist and vice president for The HSUS. "It is alleged that the 15-year-old suspect in May's shooting, Kipland P. Kinkel, had a history of killing cats and other animals.
Time and again, we see acts of cruelty to animals mature into violence against people. We urge teachers, principals and parents to recognize this connection and to take reports of cruelty towards animals seriously. As in this case, teens will often brag to their classmates about animal cruelty. Early intervention by counselors can make a difference. Kinkel also reportedly bragged about torturing animals to classmates. According to Lockwood and many other experts in the field, violence towards animals can escalate to killing people. This is particularly true of family violence. "Abusers rarely stop to count the number of legs on their victims,"Lockwood states.
The HSUS urges psychologists, educators and elected officials to take acts of animal cruelty seriously. "The days of thinking that violence against animals is boys being boys' are over. Addressing the violence in our schools, our streets and our homes requires that we reject the conventional wisdom that killing animals is an acceptable part of growing up," Lockwood concluded
The Humane Society found that animals are abused in 88% of the families where children are abused. Animals in a home may be used by an abuser to control other family members. Family members are sometimes intimidated into silence about abuse through threats made toward a favorite pet. Pets are sometimes hurt or killed to punish children for something they have done, or physically or sexually abused children may kill their pets rather than have them hurt by the perpetrator in the home.
Most criminals who have been violent toward people share a common history of cruelty to animals.
Recent school shootings and other high-profile violent crimes perpetrated by minors were prefaced by animal abuse.
Boy, 11, Accused of killing cat & kittens with bricks!
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