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The person who tortures a dog is going to pounce…

 Flaszter (Hungary) 08 March 2019

Anyone who holds that the life of a creature is worthless will also consider human life worthless, wrote the humanist Albert Schweitzer. (945 Words) - By Staff writer


The Long Violent Road

The physical abuse of animals is not merely a minor personality or temporary behavioural disturbance, but a sign of a serious mental disorder. Psychological research reveals that people who hurt animals normally don't stop there, but later turn against their fellow man.

Among serial killers, and those who committed violent crimes listed in the FBI database, many have a history of individually torturing animals during their childhood. Studies specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and mental disorders, consider cruelty against animals an indicator of behavioural disturbances, and is one of the criteria from a diagnostic perspective. Studies show that those who committed violent crimes more often tortured animals as children than those who had not committed violent crimes. Studies about patients receiving psychiatric treatment for torturing dogs and cats have shown a high level of aggression against humans. Among the patients there was one who killed a little boy.

According to researchers, one of the defining characteristics in serial killers and people who commit violent crimes are in awe of the cruel acts they committed against animals.


Serial Killers

Here is a history is full of well known examples of serial killers:

Patrick Sherill, who killed 14 of his colleagues, shot himself in the head at a local post office, and was known for stealing neighbourhood dogs, giving them to his own dog to eat.

Earl Kenneth Shrinner, who raped, wounded, and maimed a 7-year-old boy with a knife was known to put firecrackers in the rectums of dogs, and hung cats.

Brenda Spencer began shooting in a San Diego school, and as the result of her actions killed 2 children and wounded 9 others. She also tortured dogs and cats, often setting their tails on fire.

Albert De Salvo, the Boston Strangler, killed 13 women. In his childhood, he trapped dogs and cats in boxes and shot them to death with arrows through cracks in the box.

Caroll Edward Cole, sentenced to death for 5 murders out of the 35 he had committed, confessed that his first violent offense as a child was strangling a puppy to death.

In 1987 in the state of Missouri, 3 middle school children were accused of beating one of their classmates to death. Many years later, it was discovered that the 3 had a history of animal abuse; one of them confessed that he did not know the figure of how many cats he had killed.

A pair of siblings who killed their parents told their classmates that they decapitated a cat.

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer pinned the heads of dogs, cats, and frogs on a stake.

Middle school murderers, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel of Springfield, Oregon, and Luke Woodham of Pearl, Mississippi, tortured animals before running amok.

The Columbine High School students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot 12 classmates to death before turning their weapons on themselves, also boasted about their animal torturing to their friends.

"There is a common factor in the shootings of previous years," says Dr. Harold L. Koplewicz, senior consultant at New York University's Children's Behavioural Center. "You have a child who behaves aggressively with his classmates, is interested in fire, is cruel to animals, is socially isolated, and has many other warning signs that adults ignored."

Unfortunately, many offenders' violent childhood behaviour was not examined until they turned against people. As anthropologist Margaret Mead observed, the most dangerous thing that may happen to a child is if they torture and kill an animal, and go unpunished.


Animal cruelty and domestic violence

As domestic violence is addressed towards the dependant and the weak, animal and child abuse often go together. Adults who are not aware that animals require love and care, and who also hurt animals, often abuse or neglect their own children. Those adults, who do not dare to mistreat children in public, can openly display cruelty towards animals.

Animal abuse is an important red flag for child abuse, and it is not always the parent abusing the animal. These children who abused animals often copy the example seen at home. Just like their parents they responded to the rage and frustration by lashing out. Their aggressive nature focused on the weakest member of the family: the pet. According to one expert, children in violent families often participate in power struggles during which they hurt or kill the pet. It is a fact that domestic violence is linked to animal cruelty in a person's childhood.


Stopping the Wave of Violence

There is a consensus amongst psychologists: Cruelty against animals in the best example of psychological disturbances from childhood to adulthood. The prognostic value of cruelty against animals in childhood has been well documented, maintains Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Those schools, communities, and courts that are indifferent towards animal cruelty because they consider it to be "minor criminal acts" are time bombs waiting to explode. The communities should punish those who torture animals and would need to examine the families from the perspective of other cruel behaviour, and should provide intensive treatment for the perpetrators. The communities have to acknowledge that violence against any creature is unacceptable and is dangerous for everyone.

Translated from Hungarian into English by Tara Lotstein

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