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Dog Tip: Humane Education and the Animal-Human Cruelty Connection


* Using humane education to help animals and people
* How YOU can help relieve animal suffering
* The connection between human violence and cruelty to animals
* Links, including what to do if an animal is being mistreated

Using humane education to help animals and people:

One way we can make an immense difference is to encourage people to be kind to animals as well as people.

For example, we can educate young folks as well as teachers through RPO (Responsible Pet Ownership education) and other Humane Education efforts. RPO topics include proper animal care, being responsible, spaying and neutering to reduce the tragedy of pet overpopulation, keeping pets safe indoors, being safe around animals and avoiding dog bites, and respect for life. Teaching respect for life ties in with character education programs that many schools have adopted.

How YOU can help relieve animal suffering by encouraging humane education and better animal abuse laws:

* Plant the seeds of compassion. Praise kids for showing kindness to animals.

* Suggest to local school officials, teachers and community group leaders to take advantage of free humane education sessions offered by groups such as PAW. In addition to PAW information on humane pet care and responsible pet ownership (RPO), there is free and low-cost humane education material available for distribution on the web.

* Encourage your local schools to include humane education in the curriculum. Several states have implemented humane education laws, including California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. Contact education@aspca.org or visit ASPCA Humane Education online at http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education&AddInterest=1023&JServSessionIdr002=gi00vtway1.app20b

* Write to your state legislators and district prosecuting attorneys to demand maximum penalties for animal abusers. Since these elected officials are sensitive to public bias, your letter might begin: "As your constituent, I encourage you to vigorously enforce anti-cruelty laws in our community. Violence is violence and all perpetrators deserve serious punishment. In the next election, my vote will go to candidates who prosecute animal abusers to the fullest extent under the law."

* Urge local legislators to pass better animal anti-cruelty laws.

Animal welfare legislation pending in your state, and how you can help

Anti-cruelty laws, legislative contact details and related information http://www.hsus.org/ace/11589

Laws, Legislation, Model Legislation, Guidance, Working with Legislators

ASPCA Advocacy Brigade

* If you witness cruelty to animals, don't just look away. Take these steps listed in

The connection between human violence and cruelty to animals:

Numerous studies have shown that perpetrators of violence against humans typically engaged in deliberate cruelty to animals in their past. Here are findings from some of the studies:

* The youths responsible for high-profile school shootings in Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oregon, and Colorado abused, tortured, and killed animals before moving on to human victims. Indeed, it is typical for violent criminals to have childhood histories of cruelty to animals. Ted Bundy, executed in 1989 for at least 50 murders, heaped graves with animal bones. As a boy, Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo imprisoned dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the slats. The FBI is well aware of the animal-human violence link, and uses reports of animal cruelty in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known violent criminals.

* A 1997 study by the MSPA and Northeastern University found that 70% of animal abusers had committed at least one other criminal offense and almost 40% had committed violent crimes against people.

* A 1986 study by Tingle reported that 48% of convicted rapists and 30% of convicted child molesters admitted perpetrating acts of animal cruelty in their childhood or adolescence.

* A history of animal abuse was found in 25% of aggressive male criminals, 30% of convicted child molesters, 36% of those who assaulted women and 46% of those convicted of sexual homicide (Petrovoski, 1997).

* The Buffalo, NY police department and the SPCA of Erie County found that one third of the residences with animal abuse complaints in 1998 also had domestic violence complaints.

* A 1983 survey conducted by Devinne, Dickered and Lockwood of NJ families reported for child abuse found that in 83% of the families, at least one person had abused animals. In two thirds of these cases, the abusive parent had injured or killed a pet and in one third of the cases, children were the animal abusers.

* The Childhood Cruelty Toward Animals Among Criminals and Noncriminals study found that 25% of aggressive criminals confessed to five or more acts of childhood animal torture.

Since the connection between violence to animals and violence to people has been established, authorities are increasingly ask people to look for warning signs of abuse. At the same time, we should all support humane education as an effective way to instill compassionate attitudes and discourage young folks from harming animals.

Related Links:


Facts about the Animal and Human Cruelty Violence Connection


For more Dog Tips and other information about pet
care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit our
website at:  www.paw-rescue.org

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport