Children Who are Cruel to Animals: When To Worry

Childhood Animal Cruelty  Can Be Normal Or A Red Flag.

Disturbed by a high pitched cry, three year old Christopher’s mom walks in to the living room to find him swinging their new kitten around by the tail.  Five year John’s babysitter witnesses John repeatedly blowing a loud horn into his dog’s ear, laughing at the animal’s obvious distress.  Ten year old Liam’s older brother discovers him holding a lighter flame to the family guinea pig‘s foot.

Since the 1970″s, research has consistently reported childhood cruelty to animals as the first warning sign of later delinquency, violence, and criminal behavior.  In fact, nearly all violent crime perpetrators have a history of animal cruelty in their profiles.  Albert deSalvo, the Boston Strangler found guilty of killing 13 women, shot arrows through dogs and cats he trapped as a child.  Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold boasted about mutilating animals for fun.

At the same time, most parents have been upset by some form of childhood cruelty to animals – whether it’s pulling the legs off of a bug or sitting on top of a puppy.  We struggle to understand why any child would mistreat an animal.  And when should we worry?  Where’s the line between a budding serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer and normal curiosity and experimentation?

Motivations Behind Animal Cruelty

Most commonly, children who abuse animals have either witnessed or experienced abuse themselves.  For example, statistics show that 30 percent of children who have witnessed domestic violence act out a similar type of violence against their pets. In fact, the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is so well-known that many U.S. communities now cross-train social-service and animal-control agencies in how to recognize signs of animal abuse as possible indicators of other abusive behaviors.

While childhood and adolescent motives for animal cruelty has not been well-researched, interviews suggest a number of additional developmentally related motivations:

  1. “Curiosity or exploration (i.e., the animal is injured or killed in the process of being examined, usually by a young or developmentally delayed child).
  2. Peer pressure (e.g., peers may encourage animal abuse or require it as part of an initiation rite).
  3. Mood enhancement (e.g., animal abuse is used to relieve boredom or depression).
  4. Sexual gratification (i.e., bestiality).
  5. Forced abuse (i.e., the child is coerced into animal abuse by a more powerful individual).
  6. Attachment to an animal (e.g., the child kills an animal to prevent its torture by another individual).
  7. Animal phobias (that cause a preemptive attack on a feared animal).
  8. Identification with the child’s abuser (e.g., a victimized child may try to regain a sense of power by victimizing a more vulnerable animal).
  9. Posttraumatic play (i.e., reenacting violent episodes with an animal victim).
  10. Imitation (i.e., copying a parent’s or other adult’s abusive “discipline” of animals).
  11. Self-injury (i.e., using an animal to inflict injuries on the child’s own body).
  12. Rehearsal for interpersonal violence (i.e., “practicing” violence on stray animals or pets before engaging in violent acts against other people).
  13. Vehicle for emotional abuse (for example, injuring a sibling’s pet to frighten the sibling),”

Animal Cruelty:  Are There Types of Abusers?

I’m not aware of any formal typologies that exist for children who abuse animals.  However, as a rule of thumb, it may be useful to use the following guidelines in trying to assess whether or not the problem is serious or can be easily addressed.  Caveat: These are general guiidelines and each situation should be evaluated individually.

The Experimenter:  (ages 1-6 or developmentally delayed).  This is usually a preschool child who has not developed the cognitive maturity to understand that animals have feelings are not to be treated as toys.  This may be the child’s first pet or s/he doesn’t have a lot of experience or training on how to take care of a variety of animals.

What to do:  To some extent, of course, this depends on the age and development of the child.  In general, though, explain to the child that it is not okay to hit or mistreat an animal, just as it’s not okay to hit or mistreat another child.  Humane education interventions (teaching children to be kind, caring, and nurturing toward animals) by parents, childcare providers, and teachers are likely to be sufficient to encourage desistence of animal abuse in these children,

The “Cry-for-Help” Abuser:  (6/7 – 12).  This is a child who intellectually understands that it is not okay to hurt animals.  This behavior is not due to a lack of education’ instead, the animal abuse is more likely to be a symptom of a deeper psychological problem.  As previously noted, a number of studies have linked childhood animal abuse to domestic violence in the home as well as childhood physical or sexual abuse.

What to do:  Seek professional assistance.  While I’m a big believer in parents’ abilities to weather many of the normal ups and downs of childrearing without professional assistance, this is an exception.  It is not “normal” for a child this age to intentionally mistreat an animal.

The Conduct-Disordered Abuser:  (12+)  Teens who abuse animals almost always engage in other antisocial behaviors – substance abuse, gang activities, Sometimes the animal abuse is in conjunction with a deviant peer group (an initiation rite or as a result of peer pressure), while other times it may be used as a way to alleviate boredom or achieve a sense of control.

What to do:  Get professional help immediately.  If possible, enlist the support of friends, family members, even teachers.

The Bottom Line

Every act of violence committed against an animal is not a sign that a person is going to turn out to be a homicidal maniac.  Particularly with young children, whose natural exuberance and curiosity can lead to some unpleasant experiences for their pets, it is fine to shrug off an occasional lapse in judgment while continuing to educate the child about humane animal treatment.

However, locking a pet inside a closed space, violently lashing out at a pet after getting in trouble with a parent, or taking pleasure in watching an animal in pain are all “red flags” that signal the need for professional intervention.  This is particularly true when the child has the cognitive maturity to understand that what s/he is doing is wrong – and repeatedly does it anyway.

Published by Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D. in The Human Equation

Source: Psychology Today

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals supports the total banning of the Fur Trade. Currently while officially Dog and Cat Fur is banned in many countries, this does not apply to the Raccoon Dogs being Skinned Alive for their Fur.

Make no mistake this is a Barbaric process carried out by Brutal Chinese workers, that Beat the Dogs with Iron Bars, Kick Stomp, Slam them against concrete walls/floors to stop them struggling. 

Then the Fur is Slowly Torn from their bodies in the most agonising and sickening way. They are then thrown to one side where they suffer the most horrendous deaths, that can last up to 3 hours.

Please Sign Our Petition To Stop Raccoon Dogs Being Skinned Alive and Suffering a Slow, Sickening, Horrendous Deaths. Click Here To Sign Our Petition These poor animals need your support, tell all your friends and family, thank you.

You can Email Protection 4 Animals by Clicking Here.

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3 Children Torture and Abuse Kittens

Three Watsonville, SANTA CRUZ County, California, USA Children To Face Animal Cruelty Charges In Torture Of Kittens

Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter Announced They seek to Charge Three Children, Of Watsonville, California, USA, All Under Ten Years Old To Face Felony Animal Abuse charges in the death of one kitten and the torture of two kittens late last week.

Witness Reports Alleged To Have Seen The Children One As Young As Five Years Old Are Suspected Of Repeatedly Throwing and Slamming One Of  The 6 Week Old Kittens Against A Wall And Hanging The Other Two Kittens By A Rope!

Two Girls and One Boy Aged 5, 7, and 10 were seen by witnesses as they tried to Swing and Strangle Two of the Kittens. The Kitten who was repeated Thrown and Slammed Against The Wall Suffered Brain Damage and Had To Be Euthanised.

It happened in Watsonville Sunday night, where a witness called in the Animal Abuse to Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter Investigators.

Patrick and Henry are slowly recuperating and acting like playful kittens. They will be available for adoption. Credits:  Facebook/Animal Friends Rescue Project

Patrick and Henry are slowly recuperating and acting like playful kittens. They will be available for adoption.
Credits:  Facebook/Animal Friends Rescue Project

Two of the Three, Six Week Old Kittens Now Named Patrick and Henry, Pictured Above Survived the Horrendous and Sadistic Attack can’t see right now because of their injuries.

Animal Friends Rescue Project Volunteer Melissa Finley said the Kittens were Swung Around Several Times On A Noose Causing ONE Kitten to get a Severe Eye Infection.

“Because the Ligature was so Tight it Caused a Change in Pressure in the Eye,” said Finley.

Very Sadly, The Third Kitten Was Not So Lucky as the other Two Kittens, Patrick and Henry. It Was Thrown Against a Wall Repeatedly and Had To Be Put Down Because of Too Much Brain Damage.

Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter staff say if a witness hadn’t come forward fast enough, these two kittens may not even be alive right now.

“We want to send a clear message that this is absolutely unacceptable behavior by these children towards these defenseless animals,” said Melanie Sobel.

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter investigators are recommending Felony Animal Cruelty Charges. Something Shelter Manager Melanie Sobel said these children deserve.

“This needs to be addressed right now, because it could escalate into more serious egregious acts of violence against humans or animals. Serial killers; there’s a 100% correlation between all of them having Abusing Animals as Children. It doesn’t mean these Children are going to grow up and be Serial Killers, but all serial killers have abused animals as children,” said Sobel.

An article in PsychologyToday.com contends that childhood animal cruelty is the first warning sign of later delinquency, violence, and criminal behavior. Virtually all violent criminals have had a history of animal cruelty and abuse. Children who abuse animals most commonly are children who have been abused themselves or have witnessed abuse.

As for the survivors, Patrick and Henry they are on the road to recovery and will be ready for adoption in the next 3 to 4 weeks.

“They’re getting more comfortable and more quickly and playing around like that,” said Finley.

One of the Kittens needs to have an Eye Surgery that will cost over a thousand dollars. If you’d like to donate you can visit AnimalFriendsRescue.org.

Click here to donate online : AnimalFriendsRescue.org Donation Patrick and Henry

Source: Central Coast News, USA

Useful Links: Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and Animal Friends Rescue

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals supports the total banning of the Fur Trade. Currently while officially Dog and Cat Fur is banned in many countries, this does not apply to the Raccoon Dogs being Skinned Alive for their Fur.

Make no mistake this is a Barbaric process carried out by Brutal Chinese workers, that Beat the Dogs with Iron Bars, Kick Stomp, Slam them against concrete walls/floors to stop them struggling. 

Then the Fur is Slowly Torn from their bodies in the most agonising and sickening way. They are then thrown to one side where they suffer the most horrendous deaths, that can last up to 3 hours.

Please Sign Our Petition To Stop Raccoon Dogs Being Skinned Alive and Suffering a Slow, Sickening, Horrendous Deaths. Click Here To Sign Our Petition These poor animals need your support, tell all your friends and family, thank you.

You can Email Protection 4 Animals by Clicking Here.

How to Recognise Cruelty

The ASPCA

Signs That an Animal Might Be Abused

Recognising cruelty is simple, right? Not quite, say ASPCA experts. Aggressive, timid or fearful behavior doesn’t always tell the whole story. Animals may appear to be timid or frightened for many reasons other than abuse.

“It’s almost impossible to make conclusions based on a pet’s behavior alone,” says the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT. “The best way to tell whether a pet is being or has been abused is to examine him and his surrounding environment.” Check out our list of signs that may alert you an animal needs help:

Physical Signs

Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck. Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated. Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes. Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible. Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites. Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes. Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat. Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally. Heavy discharge from eyes or nose. An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal. Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness.

Environmental Signs

Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary. Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter. Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them. Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements possibly with too many other animals.

“Reporting suspected animal cruelty ensures that animals in jeopardy receive prompt and often lifesaving care,” says ASPCA Special Agent Joann Sandano. “By making a complaint to the police or humane society in your area—you can even do so anonymously—you help ensure that animals in need are rescued and that perpetrators of animal cruelty are brought to justice.”

If you see signs of animal abuse, don’t keep it to yourself. Here’s how to report cruelty in your area.

Act Now—Report Animal Cruelty!

Animal cruelty is not only wrong—it is against the law! Abuse of any kind should be reported to the appropriate authorities immediately.

Where do I Report Animal Cruelty?

In NYC: Cruelty situations involving animals in New York City should be reported to the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450, or humanel@aspca.org.

IN NJ: If you believe you have witnessed animal cruelty in the state of New Jersey and would like to report it, please call the NJSPCA at (800) 582-5979 or fill out NJSPCA’s online form.

Outside NYC: You will need to find out the name of the persons in your area who are responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in your town, county and/or state. These people typically work for your local humane organization, animal control agency, taxpayer-funded animal shelter or police precinct.

If you run into trouble finding the correct agency to contact, you should call or visit your local police department and ask for their help in enforcing the law. If your local police department is unable to assist, you can ask at your local shelter or animal control agency for advice on who to contact to report animal cruelty in your community. To find contact information for your local shelter, check the yellow pages or visit the ASPCA’s searchable database of nearly 5,000 community SPCAs, humane societies and animal control organisations.

Tips for Reporting Animal Cruelty

Once you have found out which law enforcement agent you should speak to, it’s important to provide him or her with a concise, written, factual statement of what you observed, giving dates and approximate times whenever possible. If at all feasible, try to photograph the abusive situation and date your pictures. It would also be helpful to get short, factual written statements from other witnesses.

When you call to report animal cruelty, always make sure to keep a careful record of exactly whom you contact, the date of the contacts and the content and outcome of your discussion. Never give away a document without making a copy for your file! Make it clear to the agent that you are very interested in pursuing the case, and that you are willing to lend whatever assistance you can.

Follow Up if Necessary

If you don’t receive a response from the officer assigned to your case within a reasonable length of time, don’t be afraid to present your information to his or her supervisor and, if necessary, to local government officials, such as the county commissioner, and ask them to act.

If you have witnessed the cruel act yourself, you can go to your local police commissioner and ask to swear out a warrant to summon the accused person to court. Remember that expert witnesses are sometimes necessary in animal cruelty cases. A veterinarian, for example, can sign a statement that it is his or her “expert opinion” that a dog suffers when hit with a chain, is deprived of food, etc. Expert opinions will very often make or break a case, so if you happen to know a sympathetic veterinarian, you may wish to seek his or her assistance and tell the officer that you have expert support lined up for your case.

Animal Cruelty on TV and Film

The ASPCA shares your concern about the media’s depiction of violence and cruelty towards animals for entertainment purposes. Please know, however, that many of these instances are constitutionally protected free speech—and may not even involve a real animal.

If you are offended by something you viewed, we suggest that you contact the network that aired the program or the publisher of the film in question.

You may also wish to contact the American Humane Association Movie and Television Unit online or at (818) 501-0123. This unit oversees the use of live animals in movies and television as part of an agreement with the Screen Directors Guild.

Websites that Depict Animal Cruelty

The Internet delivers an astounding array of images and ideas into homes across the world. But not all of these images are particularly animal-friendly. In fact, some of what is being sold and shown online crosses into the realm of criminal activity. And in some cases, there are laws against showing and selling these images.

To report websites that display acts of cruelty to animals, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.

Questions or concerns about calling in a cruelty complaint? Take a look at our Reporting Cruelty FAQ.
http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/reporting-cruelty-faq.aspx

“Without phone calls from the concerned citizens who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, we wouldn’t know about most instances of animal abuse,” says ASPCA Supervisory Special Investigator Annemarie Lucas, whom you may have seen in action on Animal Planet’s Animal Precinct.
Do you know where and how to report cruelty in your town? Our FAQ provides information on recognizing and reporting animal cruelty, as well as cruelty laws and how to talk to children about this important issue.

About the ASPCA

Who They Are

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. Our organization was founded by Henry Bergh in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and proud to boast more than 1 million supporters across the country.

What They Do

As the first humane organization to be granted legal authority to investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals, we are wholly dedicated to fulfilling the ASPCA mission through nonviolent approaches. Our organization provides local and national leadership in three key areas: caring for pet parents and pets, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty. For more on our work in each of these areas, pleas visit our programs and services page.

For more information on American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) click on this link www.aspca.com