Animal cruelty is a predictor of future violence. More than 50% of violent offenders began with animal abuse. Often, some event will happen in a child’s life that pushes them in the direction of violence. Therefore, it can be said that violent offenders are made, not born. Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said that “one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” Children who are abused often think that “this is the way of the world” and will then release their stress by abusing those more helpless than them…especially animals or smaller children, referred to as bullying behavior.
School shooters are often the victims of bullies or bullies themselves and will often have a history of animal cruelty. 4 million serious bullying incidents occur annually. 70-80% of battered women report animal abuse by their partner. Sadly, 32% of these women report that their children have learned this behavior.
Abuse to the elderly and child abuse generally involves animal cruelty if animals are present. 50% of rapists, 60% of people convicted of aggravated assault and 30% of pedophiles started by abusing animals. All known serial killers have abused and tortured animals.
The FBI will use animal cruelty as a means of identifying suspects in violent crimes and as an indicator of potential future offenders. Veterinarians and veterinary team members are obligated to report suspected abuse of animals. This reporting enables authorities to inspect homes of concern where animal cruelty may be taking place. In doing so, other crimes can be spotted, such as child pornography, drug dealing, dog fighting, etc.
Reporting animal abuse and cruelty may end up helping a battered woman, enslaved child or abused elder. Cruelty to animals is a serious crime and should be reported to the authorities whenever it is observed. Your report could potentially save someone’s life!
Learn more about how you can help by visiting the American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org.