Pets could serve as a substitute for toys and siblings for some families, knowing the fact that pets are usually fun and very friendly with kids. However, unusual cases of children abusing those pets very badly occur in some households, alarming our society that there is something rang going on. Muscular (2004) believes that “Pets rarely survive past the age of 2 years in violent households because they are either killed, die from neglect, or run away to escape the abuse” (p. 1 6).
Forms of animal cruelty could vary from hitting to biting to strangling to setting an animal on fire; in other words, physically abusing those poor animals by exposing them to real pain and neglecting them. Incidents of animals being hurt, like deliberately setting a cat on fire, dogs being starved to death because their owners want to teach them a lesson, and boxes of small kitten being thrown away anatomy, are usually underreported simply because people believed that those crimes are not as serious as crimes involving people.
Types of animal domestic abuse vary, but what should be taken into account seriously is the psychology behind animal abuse by children. Childhood cruelty toward animals is the first warning sign of violence, criminal behavior, and later delinquency. Many believe that childhood cruelty toward animals is not an indicator for anything serious. Those violent actions are usually classified by them under the “curious animal abuse?’ category. In other words, they believe that those actions are simply out Of curiosity.
According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, “Children are likely to be of preschool or early elementary school age, poorly supervised, and lacking training on the physical care and humane treatment of a variety of animals, especially family pets and/or stray animals and neighborhood wildlife” (Motivations That May Underlie Animal Abuse by Children and Adolescents), and that interventions by teachers and parents should take place to teach them how to be caring and loving towards animals.
Also, some people believe that only mentally-ill or emotionally unstable children can hurt animals. Another excuse that people usually use is that children are immature and usually don understand what they’re doing. Others can also claim that it doesn’t matter what a kid does to an animal because animals don’t feel and it’s bad to interfere with the way children tend to explore the world. In fact, in all cases, there is a serious problem going on. It is true that children tend to be curious by nature, but they undoubtedly are not born criminals.
Children learn by watching, and by watching how their parents or teachers deal with animals and pets, they are expected to learn he behavior towards animals naturally and without being told or taught. It is expected from parents to explain that abusing animals is wrong behavior immediately and in case of any abusing imposed on animals. Moreover, when We start dealing with childhood animal cruelty, We deal with it as a long-term habit, and not the only time a child pulled a kitten by its tail.
In addition, it is usually likely for children to be born absolutely healthy but start facing psychological, emotional, and mental problems due to external factors like peer pressure, Sophia, domestic abuse, and imitation. Menace (2014) lives that “through education and guidance from others, children learn what is considered to be appropriate, socially acceptable behavior with animals during [the] period of childhood” (p. ), not forgetting that parents should raise their children right and teach them how to differentiate between what’s good and bad behavior, explaining to them that animals are creatures that have feelings just like humans do and that hurting others, including animals, is bad behavior. According to Flynn (2011), “In addition to being more likely to be high school dropouts, have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and e in fair or poor mental health, perpetrators of intimate partner violence were also significantly more likely to have abused or threatened pets” (p. 56). As children tend to suffer because of being exposed to domestic abuse, aggressiveness, bullying, peer pressure, and the other factors that may ignite a sense of emotional or physical pain, they start developing a defensive attitude that could later on turn into violent behavior. According to McPherson (2009), “A factor that may contribute to the associations between interpersonal violence and animal cruelty is a compromised ability to experience feelings of empathy” (p.
In other words, children who are neglected and that suffer from the bad treatment of parents that lack empathy can greatly develop violent behavior and impose it on others. Flynn (2011) believes that observational examination has progressively discovered proof for the concurrence of creature misuse and different manifestations of interpersonal brutality. A few specialists have even contended for a particular variant of this relationship that people have a tendency to move from animal abuse, especially in adolescence, to resulting viciousness to people.
According to the National Link Collation, an organization that aims to build awareness of owe domestic violence and community violence are interconnected, children start imposing harm on others as they “often feel powerless when they are abused by adults and may find their own victims to exert control over and gain a sense of power. They may abuse a pet or a sibling or a peer [to take revenge for] emotional maltreatment” (Children Abusing Animals). In other words, they impose harm on whoever might seem inferior to them.
According to the American Humane Association, “A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse and neglect found that animals were abused in 88 recent of homes where child physical abuse was present” (Children Abusing Animals) , which is a very large percent of the number of homes that include pets, and that explains the direct link between child abuse and childhood animal abuse. Flynn (201 1) claims that “Animal cruelty is a serious antisocial behavior that may help identify troubled youth and dysfunctional families” (p. 454).
After an experiment Was carried, a study by Cheryl L Currie (2005) resulted in an indication that children who are exposed to domestic violence were more “likely to have displayed animal cruelty” than those who weren’t exposed to domestic violence, as reported by their mothers. In other words, studies suggest that “exposure to domestic violence is correlated with animal cruelty by children” (p. 432). Those children usually display symptoms of suffering from a varying severity of psychological disturbances that, as mentioned, could have plenty of causes and motifs.
Ann. (2011) confirms that animal abuse by children is without a doubt frequently connected to different manifestations of interpersonal violence. This discovering is presently unalterably settled in the writing on both the family violence and ornithology. He also believes that “witnessing animal abuse (along with being a victim of bullying) was found to be a significant predictor of [becoming] a bully/’ (p. 457), which is a one of the signs that prove children who abuse animals can implement acts of violent behavior through bullying others.
Not only that, but “animal abuse was also related to a variety of nonviolent crimes, including property crimes, drug-related crimes, and disorderly behavior” (p. 459). Muscular (2004) says, “Studies that look at the relationship between animal abuse and human violence suggest that animal abuse may e characteristics of the developmental histories of between one in four and nearly two in three violent adult offenders” (p. 1 8). Other studies show that “chronic physical aggression (e. G. Animal cruelty) by elementary school boys increases the likelihood they will commit continued physical violence as well as other nonviolent forms of delaine ounce during adolescence” (Animal Cruelty and Human Violence, 2011). In brief, “A child’s aggressive, abusive behavior towards animals may predict later violence towards people” (Hodges). Not only that, but studies also show that childhood animal abuse can be a very significant predictor for later delinquency and criminal behavior.
According to the American Humane Association, a study showed that “violent offenders incarcerated in a maximum-security prison were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty toward pets,” which shows the correlation between childhood animal abuse and later criminal actions. Muscular (2004) claims that according to psychologists, sociologists, and criminologists, “cruelty [towards] animals has been recognized as a sign of family violence and a warning sign of future aggression in children and adolescents” (p. 5). This explains a direct link between criminality and childhood animal abuse. In addition, Nausea Stacker (2004) discusses the results of three studies that were conducted to examine how likely it is for children to commit serious acts of animal cruelty. He says that “between 10 [and] 34 percent of the male subjects said that they had [stabbed, burned tortured, mutilated or killed] an animal as a child” (p. 36).
Occasion (2001 ) also confirms that recent study of 9 school shootings in the US “reported that 5 (45 percent) of the 11 perpetrators had histories of alleged animal abuse” (p. 1). He also mentions an example of a well-documented case f a school student that has tortured his pet dog one night before murdering both his mother and a schoolmate. Such cases and studies referred to the fact that psychiatric, psychological, and criminological research has been illustrating links and connections between juvenile and “adult-perpetrated” violence.
Studies prove that “In addition to being more likely to be high school dropouts, have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and be in fair or poor mental health, perpetrators of intimate partner violence were also significantly more likely to have abused or threatened pets” (Flynn, 2011 which illustrates mother direct link between interpersonal violence as adults and abusing animals as children. He also mentions that studies has proved that “Males who had committed animal cruelty [ … Had significantly higher delinquency scores than those who had never abused animals. At least for males, then, early exposure to animal abuse and committing cruelty alone may be warning signs for other forms of antisocial behavior” (p. 458), while other studies uncovered great likelihood that animal abuse was identified with different violent offenses. Eighty-six percent of creature guilty parties had numerous arrests in their previous, while 70% had been arrested for lawful offenses, and 70% had narcotics charges.
Another study shows that “36% of serial murderers reported killing and torturing animals in childhood, while 46% did so as adolescents. More recently, a study of 354 serial killers found that 21% had committed childhood animal cruelty” (p. 459). That shows that animal abuse in childhood can be a very significant predictor of later delinquency and criminal behavior. In addition, more studies conducted by Flynn (2011) prove that “nearly half Of rapists and over one-fourth Of pedophilia had harmed animals as children” (p. 9). He believes that “Animal abuse-?whether as a marker of violence in families, a precursor or indicator of other forms of criminality, or as an act of violence against innocent nonhuman victims-?provides an excellent opportunity in criminology for empirical investigation, theory development, and the practical application of research findings to social policy” (p. 466), which indicates that animal cruelty serves as an important predictor and marker for criminology investigations that might help in solving cases.
According to Hodges, “Research in psychology and criminology indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty o animals often do not stop there -? many of them later turn on humans. ” That’s another indicator that those who are violent towards animals can later on impose the same degree of violence on others, including other people. She also says that “A survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured animals found that all of them were also highly aggressive towards people. To conclude, a various number of studies and statistics proved that childhood cruelty toward animals is the first warning sign of violence, criminal behavior, and later delinquency. Parents should understand the reasons why heir children might behave in a Way that abuses animals in order for them to be able to apply effective intervention strategies. Parents should not only try and figure out the source of problems, but also need to seek both professional and clinical interventions at such stage.
There are organizations like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPIC) that aim to prevent cruelty towards animals and explain the consequences of not solving such problems immediately. Overall, all situations that include children abusing animals should be taken seriously, and there must be an assessment of the seriousness of every situation, including talking to teachers, classmates, and friends. Moreover, the motifs behind such actions must be observed carefully and uncovered.
According to the National Link Coalition, “Identifying cases of animal abuse as soon as possible enhances the safety and well-being of children, animals, other family members and the community’ (Motivations That May Underlie Animal Abuse by Children and Adolescents), keeping in mind that the earlier the intervention, the higher rate of success. It also believes that “The child should be held accountable for the actions and made to appreciate empathy for the animal’s feelings. According to Muscular (2004), measuring the vicinity of animal abuse must be a part of routine children health visits especially if they present behavioral issues or indications of child abuse. Animal cruelty has been connected with all manifestations of international viciousness, and the adolescent are definitely not be the only ones abusing animals. In order for us to protect future generations and maintain a good society that includes minima crimes, we should understand why our children in the future might behave in such ways.
Duncan (2002) believes that “Childhood animal cruelty may signify a child who is acting out due to violent or abusive experiences in the home. As result, a child’s family context needs to be directly evaluated when animal cruelty is being assessed” (p. 381 He also suggests that interventions of childhood animal abuse need to recognize that a harmful family context may be an etiological thought of the problem conduct. Other than that, cases of children being violent to animals should be reported immediately in order for us to be able to analyze the motifs and spot an immediate solution.