Philosophy of AR >
Animals and Abuse Linked
The Abuse Connection
It has been proven over and over. Statistical data, case studies,
psychologists, and even FBI Profilers show us the connection over
and over again, and yet animal abuse crimes are not given nearly the
weight that human crimes are given. Animal abuse clearly illustrates
a lack of empathy for the suffering of others, which is a signficant
characteristic of sociopathic personalities.
If you break it down to its bare essentials:
animal is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through
the torture of a victim they know cannot defend itself."
Now break down a human crime, say rape. If we substitute a few
pronouns, it's the SAME THING.
"Rape is a way for a human to
find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know
cannot defend themselves."
Now try it with, say, domestic abuse such as child abuse or
"Child abuse is a way for a human to find
power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know
cannot defend themselves."
Do you see the pattern here?
The line separating an animal abuser from someone capable of
committing human abuse is much finer than most people care to
consider. People abuse animals for the same reasons they abuse
people. Some of them will stop with animals, but enough have been
proven to continue on to commit violent crimes to people that
it's worth paying attention to.
Virtually every serious violent offender has a history of animal
abuse in their past, and since there's no way to know which
animal abuser is going to continue on to commit violent human
crimes, they should ALL be taken that seriously. FBI Supervisory
Special Agent Allen Brantley was quoted as saying "Animal cruelty...
is not a harmless venting of emotion in a healthy individual; this
is a warning sign..." It should be looked at as exactly that. Its a
clear indicator of psychological issues that can and often DO lead
to more violent human crimes.
History is full of high-profile examples:
Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post
office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing local pets
and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them.
Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed, and mutilated
a 7-year-old boy, had been widely known in his neighborhood as the
man who put firecrackers in dogs' rectums and strung up cats.
Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school,
killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly
abused cats and dogs, often by setting their tails on fire.
DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler" who killed 13 women,
trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the
boxes in his youth.
Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35
murders of which he was accused, said his first act of violence as
a child was to strangle a puppy.
In 1987, three Missouri high school students were charged with
the beating death of a classmate. They had histories of repeated
acts of animal mutilation starting several years earlier. One
confessed that he had killed so many cats he'd lost count. Two
brothers who murdered their parents had previously told classmates
that they had decapitated a cat.
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs' heads,
frogs, and cats on sticks.
More recently, high school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in
Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16,
in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking on shooting
sprees. Columbine High School students Eric Harris and
Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before
turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals
to their friends.
As powerful a statement as the high-profile examples above make,
they don't even begin to scratch the surface of the whole
truth behind the abuse connection. Learning more
about the animal cruelty/interpersonal violence connection
is vital for community members and law enforcement alike.