Animal abuse comes in many different forms, from physical assault, neglect, filmmaking, circuses and organised fights, these innocent animals endure hardships that are all classified as cruel. In 2017 there were over 70 thousand reports of animal abuse in Australia alone. 70 thousand pets, best friends and innocent animals were in some way abused. There are no background checks that are mandatory for people before they are allowed to own a pet. This puts the animals at risk of being abused, neglected and not being treated fairly. People could argue that animal abuse is just a side effect of a drunk man who was stressed out from his day at work or a mother who juggles 3 kids but animal abuse has been proven to be linked to homicidal tendencies towards humans.
When these animals are then shipped off to shelters because of their unfit owners they then end up in places that aren’t any better. Every year approximately 2.7 million cats and dogs are killed because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough people to adopt them. Pets, especially dogs, aren’t just brought into peoples lives for entertainment and cuteness they also serve many other greater purposes. There is not an effective way of preventing this type of abuse from happening in the first place just yet, but there is a way to prevent it from happening multiple times to the same animal, by conducting animal abuse evaluations on offenders.
Men under 30 are more likely to be animal abusers, while those involved in animal hoarding which involves housing far more pets than they are sufficiently able to take care of, are more likely to be women in their 60s and above. Standardized animal abuse evaluation tests would be a tool used to determined the offenders mental state and the cause of the abuse because serious animal abuse is believed to almost always be a symptom of other issues in one’s life. The evidence strongly suggests that serious cruelty behavior toward animals is indicative of an increased risk of other anti-social actions which could lay a direct path to future murder or extreme violence.
From 1978-1991 Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 people, Aside from killing these 17 innocent people this man, and a notable percentage of other serial killers, often tortured or killed small animals from an early age, years before committing murders. The FBI state that, animal abuse is highly associated with violence towards humans, and people who commit child abuse or domestic violence are more likely to harm household pets as well. “If somebody is harming an animal, there is a good chance they’re also hurting a human,” a quote from John Thompson, the deputy executive director of the National Sheriff’s Association.
So how can we prevent animal abuse before it spirals into violence against humans? We can encourage family, friends and carers to report it so then animal abuse evaluations can be conducted. It’s really important to focus on rehabilitation to help the person recover from the mental illness they have, especially if it’s a child, rather than sending that person to jail. Oftentimes people will turn a blind eye to things they notice, instead of acknowledging what is wrong with the person.