Dog Abuse – Pet Abuse – Animal Abuse

Recent statistics have shown us that animal abusers are more likely to commit violent crimes of abuse,whether it is labeled dog abuse, pet abuse or animal abuse. It’s all the same thing — leading to other abuses and violent crimes.

Animal  abusers will  do violent crimes that happen as much as five times  more against people and as much as four times more against property crimes, as compared to individuals who do not have a history of animal abuse.

Usually the abuse originates with mental abuse of the victim as a child, with the child in turn becoming a statistic for child abuse and depression as they grow up, becoming a mental abuser of children  themselves, , or as one who does animal abuse.

Mental abuse of children

Studies over the past 25 years in the fields of criminology, psychology and sociology show that violent offenders have a childhood and adolescent history of repeated animal cruelty. This is taken from a FBI study reaching back to the 1970s,  when it performed an analysis of serial killers and their early lives. The study proved  that the majority of animal abusers as abused children themselves would eventually switch their mistreatment from animals to people—elder abuse, spouse abuse, and child abuse — as they had grown up with it and considered it normal behavior.

Pet Abuse graph


Animal abuse facts

Today, animal abuse is considered one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association. According to Arkansas state child welfare works, when the agency investigated possible child abuse cases or neglect, similar signs were found in people abuse as with animal abuse, as both situations were interwoven.  Breaking it down to the bare facts demonstrated that those who abused animals found power and ecstasy through the torture of a victim that could not defend. To top it off, there was a very fine line between the defenseless animal and a defenseless child or spouse. Not all animal abusers go further, but statistics are showing that more and more animal abusers are crossing the line.

Many professionals state that children who are abusive to pets are acting out violence they have experienced or witnessed in the home. Statistics are showing that about 30% of children exposed to family violence act out this same type of violence against their pets. Other professionals feel that animal abuse is about power or control, with the abuser feeling powerless throughout their life and their family conditions, eventually developing an abnormal sense of self-respect. This sort of feeling is overcome by dominating another weaker person or animal through violence or abuse.

Abuse of dogs

Photograph by Nancy Houser

Signs and symptoms of animal abuse

  • Wounds can be seen on their skin
  • Serious flea or tick infestations
  • Numerous patches of missing hair
  • Thin looking dogs – appearing as if they are starving or ill
  • Limping or having difficulty in walking
  • No visible signs of shelter, food or water
  • Appearance of injury with no signs of vet care
  • Always left outside with no care
  • Behavior of cowering, fearful, timid, excessive aggression, or an abnormal behavior

Animal hoarding

There are unique situations which are not the same thing as animal abuse yet are similar. Some involve the subject of animal hoarding—keeping dozens and dozens of animals in unsafe conditions which demonstrate obsessive-compulsive disorders. This involves unsafe nutrition, sanitation, veterinary care, shelter and neglect which eventually will result in death for the animal or illness and starvation. Those who are involved are the human occupants of the household and the impact upon the animals. Those involved in this deny it is animal abuse, but it appears to be abuse to both animals and the people involved. Animal hoarders actually feel they are caring for the animals to the point of being unable to say no to incoming animals—feeling they are actually providing caring welfare for the animal.

Instead of the characteristic of violent animal abusers, these types of people are actually dysfunctional and ill but unfortunately are the focus of very little psychological research. Considered an animal welfare issue, it has been left for shelters to handle with very little attention to the human side. Animal hoarding terms began in 1997, with the attention on little old ladies with hundreds of cats, termed as “collectors” instead of animal hoarders. The animals (pets) are the most prominent psychological feature of the hoarder’s identity that actually has physical and mental grief at the thought of losing their “pets”. Backgrounds today are showing that the majority of this type of individual grew up in a chaotic household with parents who were inconsistent enough that animals were the child’s only stability.


“Understanding animal abuse can strengthen anti-violence policies and programs,” ~ Psychologist Mary Lou Randour

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10 Responses:


    - 14th Jan, 16 08:01pm

    stop dog abuse ppl

    Reply to this comment

  2. Medical Cases

    - 3rd Jul, 12 12:07pm

    Thanks and good blog.

    Reply to this comment

  3. Jervis Crawford

    - 20th Feb, 12 10:02pm

    Animal cruelty is an act that is done completely out of love – no heart, no feeling no nothing. Just like the way they kill peolpe, they abuse and kill animals and sometimes they can,t get to kill someone so they turn against the animals. It’s very very very sad.

    Reply to this comment

  4. Kimi Nickerson

    - 30th Jan, 12 08:01am

    For me it0s the most cruel thing in the whole world and i wish I could help more to stop it but I do everzthing I can, Peole that do that are heartless and they should be inprisoned or worsel!!!!

    Reply to this comment

  5. cuocci

    - 7th Dec, 11 06:12pm

    i no animal cruelty iz wrong.y do ppl abuse dogs/animals in the 1st place? ppl think animal cruelty iz just a joke but itz not itz plain inorance.

    Reply to this comment

  6. rebecca

    - 25th May, 11 07:05am

    animal abuse is horrialbe and people who abuse animals should be killled.

    Reply to this comment


  1. - 11th Sep, 10 03:09am

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