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Animal Cruelty - what and why it is
By: T. C. Kitty Cat
Animal Cruelty is defined by the Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) as: Animal cruelty generally
falls into one of three categories: neglect, intentional
cruelty or abuse. Examples include starvation,
dehydration, confinement without adequate light or
ventilation, failure to seek veterinary care when an animal
is in need of medical attention, inadequate shelter, dog
fighting, illegal slaughterhouses and puppy mills.
Most psychologists believe that inflicting unnecessary harm
on an animal demonstrates character flaws that are
destructive and dangerous. The majority of people believe
that is wrong to unnecessarily inflict pain and suffering on
any living creature.
Scientists say that in many cases cruelty to animals by
children is a precursor to more serious crimes. Cruelty to
animals shows a predisposition to violence and severe
psychological problems in the individual committing the
abuse. Often these people are not adverse to abusing people
There is a lot of evidence connecting animal cruelty to
human violence and cruelty. There have been many studies in
sociology, psychology and criminology in the last quarter of
a century that demonstrated that violent offenders very
often have a history of serious, repeated animal abuse.
Studies by the FBI in the 1970's that analyzed the lives of
serial killers connected animal cruelty and violence. The
murderers studied had usually tortured animals and kill them
as children. There is a very obvious progression and pattern
to violence, usually starting with animal cruelty in some
form. It shows a basic disrespect for life and lack of
concern for other's suffering.
There are many causes of animal cruelty and no excuses. It
is like any other type of violence and is often committed by
people who feel unnoticed, powerless and subjugated. The
motives behind animal abuse can be to threaten, shock,
intimidate, or offend other people or to show a rejection of
Animal abusers often act out the cruelty that has been
inflicted upon them. They often consider animal abuse as a
safe outlet for their own feelings and sometimes as a way to
get revenge on a person who cares about that animal.
Often these people experienced some form of violence
themselves that started the pattern. Most of these people
were abused physically, or emotionally. Later in
life these people often become abusers themselves from
common predisposition to violent outbreaks, child abuse,
spousal abuse or even elder abuse. Animal cruelty has been
recognized as a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorder.
It should be understood that if you are caught abusing an
animal, depending upon the severity of the case you can go
to prison and almost certainly will be fined. The sentencing
can include the individual and even the family counseling,
diversion programs or community service.
In the case of a child abusing an animal, imprisonment is
avoided. However, a good hard look is often taken at the
parents and the behaviors of the child and can end up with
the child being taken into protective custody. Animal abuse
is often a symptom of child abuse and in this case it is
better that the child be removed from the harmful situation.
In any case the individual or family will be given the
opportunity to get help to correct the problem.
If you see an animal being abused it is your responsibility
to report it. Do not think someone else already has, because
more often or not the other person who could have made the
same excuse for themselves.
You can leave an anonymous complaint with the proper
authorities, but often successful prosecution of an animal
abuse case relies on witnesses to attest to the abuse in
court. If you do report an animal being abused you may be
asked to testify in court against the abuser. Do it.
Bijou says "Be kind to all Animals."