Motives for Animal Cruelty

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or the OSPCA, responds to thousands of reports on animal abuse every year, whether it’s neglect or injury. Out of these cases, only about half of these animals are seized or surrendered. Animal cruelty can range from mild neglect to horrible slaughtering.(HSUS, 2009) Most cases of cruelty investigated involve neglect or abandonment, but it may or may not be intentional.(HSUS, 2009) Intentional neglect may involve deliberately depriving the animal of food, water, shelter or veterinary care.(HSUS, 2009) But cruelty can also involve physically abusing an animal (HSUS, 2009). Physical abuse is when one may torture, mutilate, beat or kill an animal (HSUS, 2009). The writer’s reason for reviewing this literature is to address the issue of animal abuse, to display the connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence, and to show what might motivate a person to harm an animal.

Animal cruelty is a concern because other than it being immoral, it may also show psychological problems within a person. This would mean that an offender has already gone through a violent past or may begin to commit acts of violence. The types of family violence that include animal abuse are domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse (HSUS, 2009). About 15% of the reported intentional animal cruelty fell under those factors (HSUS, 2009). According to research, the gender of the perpetrators who were more likely to commit these acts towards animals, were men (HSUS, 2009). Although there were women present in committing these acts as well, the percentage of men was higher.

Animal abuse and serious crimes like rape and child abuse have a connection between each other (Pet-abuse, 2009). If the basics of the crimes were broken down, then it will be shown that a human abusing an animal, raping a victim, or even abusing a child, find that they get a feeling of power, joy, and fulfillment because the victim can’t defend itself...