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Animal Abuse and Its Link to Criminal Behaviors

By Kuljit Kaur
Staff Writer | Pacific Times

What does it feel like to be caged in a box and have someone shooting arrows through the cage? What does it feel like to be starved and beaten? What does it feel like to be left alone in the world without any assistance?

When someone tortures an animal and commit acts of animal cruelty, these are the conditions animals have to go through. But who can be responsible for such behaviors? The most common answer would be adults, however that is not entirely true. Studies have shown that children at young ages also can commit acts of animal cruelty that can put them at high risk of becoming criminals. How does abusing animals from a young age relate to criminal acts?

For my senior project, I have decided to impact the issue of animal abuse and its links to the violent tendencies in children. Abusing animals from a young age fosters a mentality of violence in children which then leads children to engage in acts of domestic violence as adults.

According to the article, Childhood Animal Abuse and Violent Criminal Behavior: A Brief Review of the Literature explains, “FBI criminal profiler, John Douglas, writes in The Mind Hunter that serial offenders’ earliest acts of violence are often the torture and/or killing of pets or wildlife, then brutalizing younger siblings, and then finally engaging in domestic violence or street crime” (McDonald 2). This data shows that abusing animals from a young age has gradually led to violent acts and criminal activities. “The majority of exposure occurred between 6 and 12 years of age” (3) and children begin to develop a mindset that torture and violence are accepted actions. Many violent offenders and serial killers have engaged in acts of violence towards an animal at young ages.

For example, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs’ heads, frogs and cats on sticks, and Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler” who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes in his youth. Solidifying the fact that not having the resources to prevent these offenders at a young age or documenting them allowed these offenders to become domestic criminals in the society.

According to the The Humane Society of the United States, “Of 36 convicted multiple murderers questioned in one study, 46% admitted committing acts of animal torture as adolescents.  And of seven school shootings that took place across the country between 1997 and 2001, all involved boys who had previously committed acts of animal cruelty” (n.p. paragraph 2).

Coming across this data opened my eyes in the sense that children are at risk of becoming criminals if their actions of violence persist. In an attempt to change this flow of events, I wrote a bill consideration form that details a documentation system for children factoring violent tendencies and providing them with the appropriate assistance.

In this way, children can be tracked and given proper care to prevent a mentality of violence to develop and grow overtime. Currently, the bill has been put into consideration for next year and I request that before coming to any conclusions regarding the bill that the facts and details of this issue are thoroughly examined. For more information please contact Kuljit Kaur at [email protected].


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