Statistics suggest, pet neglect-is a bellwether for human domestic violence


“Cruelty to animals is a predictor of violent behavior against people, and as good a predictor as I have seen.”

Amplify’d from www.annarbor.com

The attention of news-perusers (like those of you reading this article) is regularly caught, horrified and dismayed by the never ending stream of stories recounting seemingly senseless acts of violence inflicted upon people, by people. The stories are especially gut wrenching when the victims are harmed by the ones who are supposed to be loving them.

Too often-- “too little too late” is how the story goes...

It can leave you in tears, shaking your head and thinking, if someone had just noticed something sooner, lives could have been saved and futures preserved.

But statistics only tell a story, they don't change the plot.

Statistics seeking to tell the story of domestic violence in America strongly suggest that our pets and the domesticated animals with whom we share our lives are intricately woven into the insidious fabric of dysfunctional family dynamics--to the extent that, with alarming frequency they are the “bellwether” for, and inevitably included in, violent acts perpetrated by and against the human family members.

If you delve deeper into this phenomenon you'll find more than a few sobering facts: here is a sample...

According to Phil Arkow and the Latham Foundation's Animal Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Project:

-thirty two percent of these women report that their children were displaying abusive behavior with pets.

-Seventy one percent of pet-owning women entering abuse shelters report that their batterers threatened or ended the lives of family pets to leverage psychological control. And...

-Significant numbers of physically threatened women and children choose not to enter into a shelter for fear of leaving their pets in jeopardy.

Given the fact that a hindsight review of most domestic violence (news) stories will likely reveal a long list of precursor events, it makes me wonder...

How many dogs or cats, birds or rats (if only they could talk) would have dialed up the DHS hotline after: a family endured a volatile boyfriend or a despondent mother for days, an anxious or angry child took his/her frustrations out on them while they spent the past week on a chain with no fresh water or, their “pack” was just clearly and simply struggling for survival--to report: we've got a problem over here, we need help!?

Former governor of Colorado and Denver district attorney William Ritter states, “Cruelty to animals is a predictor of violent behavior against people, and as good a predictor as I have seen.”

Read more at www.annarbor.com