Does violence toward animals indicate a violent life to come?

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas. Publicado en News in English.

Several studies have been published that discuss a child's violence toward animals as the precursor for a violent adult life.
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Does violence toward animals indicate a violent life to come?



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By Jennifer Williamson
Special to the LVN

November 16, 2005

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Several studies have been published that discuss a child's violence toward animals as the precursor for a violent adult life. In other words, children who abuse pets or animals often become violent adult criminals, and their victims become other people, in addition to pets or animals. This statement has been echoed to me by some members of law enforcement in Fallon and Churchill County — they have seen it themselves.
The following was taken from the Website www.helpinganimals.com: "'Murderers . . . very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids,' according to Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Studies have now convinced sociologists, lawmakers, and the courts that acts of cruelty toward animals deserve our attention. They can be the first sign of a violent pathology that includes human victims.
"The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers. A study conducted by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA found that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. The majority of inmates scheduled to be executed for murder at California's San Quentin penitentiary 'practiced' their crimes on animals, according to the warden."
It is also reported that abusers will threaten to hurt the pets of their victims if they leave the home. This way, abusers can control victims because often victims cannot take their pets with them, forcing them to leave pets behind in danger.
A suggestion for parents, teachers, family, and friends is that if you witness a child abusing an animal or think that a child in your life is hurting or abusing animals, do not ignore it. Early diagnosis of the problem and getting help can make a huge difference in that child's life. Sometimes the child is simply going along with the crowd that he/she is hanging out with and don't want to stand up to peer pressure. This would be a great opportunity to intervene and help that child.
CAPS encourages you to act on any animal neglect or cruelty that you witness by calling the local authorities. CAPS receives calls from the public regarding these issues. We are thankful that you are concerned, but we are not a law enforcement agency; the local sheriff and city police/animal control are who you need to call. Both the sheriff and chief of police have told me that every report of animal neglect or abuse is investigated and that they take them very seriously. District Attorney Art Mallory believes that you might be saving more than a dog or cat when you report abuse; you may be saving a family.
On a lighter note, CAPS will be at Wal-mart on November 19 from 10 - 2, selling t-shirts, beanie babies, our 2006 Happy Endings Calendar, and raffle tickets for the living Christmas tree donated by the Flower Tree Nursery ($1 each or 6 for $5). We can help you cross off some items on your Christmas list. Talk to Teresa about the pets we have available, become a member, learn about our programs (CAPS SNAPs, volunteering, sponsorship, logo contest), and get a copy of our latest newsletter. Our next edition will be out in December.
Check us out at www.capsnv.org to find your next best friend.
Jennifer Williamson is president of CAPS.