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Why Would Someone be Cruel to Their Pet?
All too frequently we read of sickening cases of cruelty to pets in local and national newspapers. Why is it, we ask, that some 'human' creatures inflict suffering upon other creatures that are usually smaller and defenseless? Why do they take pets into their homes only to treat them with less than respect and with a great deal of contempt?
Often the reason these animal abusers obtain a pet is the same reason that they end up treating the animal cruelly. And that reason is control. They may not consciously think "I need something to control so I will get myself a pet", but the fact remains that rarely do these people keep a pet just for companionship and something to love, but to have a living thing under their control.
People that deliberately hurt animals do so because it gives them a feeling of power. Perhaps these 'people' feel undervalued within their family, or within society. Perhaps they have an inflated sense of how much they should be valued. Hence, these sick beings take out their frustrations on helpless pets.
Often sadistic acts of animal abuse are one step away from abusing humans.
In a shocking amount of cases, those that commit terrible acts of violence to people, serial killers, child abusers, spouse beaters and rapists, have a history of animal abuse. As a youth Albert DeSalvo (the Boston strangler) trapped cats and dogs in crates and abused them. Peter Kurten (the Dusseldorf vampire) started torturing dogs as a boy and carried the vile practice into adulthood. Brenda Spencer fired rifle shots at school children, wounding nine and killing two. Neighbors of the murderess reported that she often abused cats and dogs, sometimes by setting their tails on fire.
A study in 1997 discovered that 40% of animal abusers had committed acts of violence against people. In another study, a history of abusing animals was found in 46% of those found guilty of sexual homicide.
The sensational high profile examples, such as serial killers, are but the tip of the iceberg, in many, many cases of spouse battering, child abuse, etc. pet cruelty is also a factor in the home. It's a sad fact that all too often we read reports in the news papers of someone found guilty of cruelty to their pet which is a sick terrible thing in itself, but often that is only half the story.
In an extensive survey of abused wives who kept pets, over half reveled that their abusing partners had harmed, and in some cases killed, their pets. The fear that the abuser would greatly harm the pet for revenge if she left, kept many of those wives from leaving.
Back in 1837 when Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist he created the character Bill Sykes, who was a violent bully that badly abused his dog Bullseye. True to form, the bullying thug was also violent with people, particularly his lady friend Nancy.
Before the end of the novel Sykes attempts to take the life of the child Oliver, and succeeds in killing Nancy. Dickens knew that those that are cruel to pets are dangerous sick people.
If you know of anyone who harms their pet, or is cruel to an animal in any way, do not hesitate in reporting them to the authorities. In doing so, you may not only be saving the life of an animal but ultimately, a human being.
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