Domestic Violence
Animal Cruelty

"Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life on any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives."

-Albert Schweitzer

Research shows consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of child abuse, partner abuse, and elder abuse. (Note: for a review, see Animal Cruelty & Human Violence: Making the Connection, "Animal Sheltering," Jan.-Feb. 1998)

* The FBI considers animal cruelty to be one of the predictors of violence.

* Batterers may threaten or harm a pet as a show of power, to hurt their human victim, or to keep a victim in an abusive relationship.

* Nearly half of women entering domestic violence shelters reported in a recent survey that their partners threatened, injured, or killed their pets.

* 88% of families being treated for child abuse were also involved in animal abuse. In 2/3 of the cases, the abusive parent killed or injured the pet. Sadly, in 1/3 of the cases, a child victim continued the cycle of violence by abusing a pet.

Animal Welfare and Domestic Violence
By Frank R. Ascione, Ph.D, Claudia V. Weber, M.S., and David S. Wood,Utah State University, Logan, Utah

This is a partial transcript of the studies. Click on below links for more information

  Animal Welfare and Domestic Violence

     Seventy-four percent of the women reported current pet ownership or pet ownership in the 12 months prior to the women's entry into the shelter. Nearly three-quarters (71 %) of the women with pets reported that their male partner had threatened to hurt or kill and/or had actually hurt or killed one or more of their pets. Actual harm or killing of animals was reported by 57% of the women with pets and included acts of omission (e.g., neglecting to feed or allow veterinary care) but most often acts of violence.Twenty-two women had children and 32% of these women reported that one of their children (three girls and four boys) had hurt or killed a pet or pets. Behaviors ranged from sitting on a kitten and throwing a kitten against the wall to cutting a dog's fur and tail, pulling a kitten's head out of its socket, and sodomizing a cat. For 5 of these 7 cases (71 %), the mother had also reported that her partner had threatened to or actually hurt or killed pets. Eighteen percent of the women with pets reported that concern for their animals' welfare had prevented them from coming to the shelter sooner. Their concerns included worries for animals' safety, fear of relinquishing thrit pets.




· May 21, 1998 - Springfield, OR

Kip Kinkel, 15, allegedly walked into his high school cafeteria and opened fire on his classmates. Two classmates were killed and twenty-two others injured, four critically. Later that day police found his parents shot to death in their home. Friends and family have indicated that Kinkel has a history of animal abuse and torture. Friends say that he often bragged about torturing and killing animals.

· April 9, 1998 - West Dallas, TX

Seven and eight year-old brothers and an 11 year-old friend were arrested for kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting a 3 year-old girl. A local television station reported that the brothers had been involved in animal cruelty.

· March 24, 1998 - Jonesboro, AR

Mitchell Johnson, 13 and Andrew Golden, 11, allegedly shot and killed four students and one teacher ambushed during a fire drill at their school. A school friend of Golden stated that Andrew "said he shoots dogs all the time with a .22."

· October 1, 1997 - Pearl, MS

Luke Woodham, 16, allegedly stabbed his mother to death. Woodham then allegedly went to his high school where he shot and killed two classmates and injured seven others. Woodham stated in his personal journal that he and an accomplice beat, burned and tortured his dog, Sparkle, to death. He said it was "true beauty."

· December 1, 1997 - West Paducah, KY

Michael Carneal, 14, allegedly shot and killed three classmates at school. According to another student, Carneal talked about throwing a cat into a bonfire.

· November 1996 - Tavares, FL

Rod Ferrell, 17, "vampire cult leader" and cult members Heather Wendorf, 16, Howard Anderson, 17, Dana Cooper, 20, and Charity Keesce, 17, were arrested in connection with the bludgeoning deaths of Wendorf's parents. Media accounts include animal torture and mutilation as part of their rituals.

· December 4, 1994 - San Francisco, CA

A 17 year-old, along with two 15 year-old friends were arrested in the beating death of a 15 year-old friend. Officials reported that the older boy had a history of fire starting and animal torture, including an incident at age 11 where he is reported to have thrown a cat in the air until he broke two of its legs.

· March 6 1994 - Cleveland, OH

"Jack," a 16 year-old serial sex offender in Cleveland was charged with rape, and sexual battery. His other victims reportedly included infants and animals.

· August 2, 1993 - Bath NY

Eric Smith, 13, was convicted in the beating death of a 4 year-old boy. Four years prior to the murder a neighbor said Smith choked his cat to death with a garden hose clamp.

· June 1991 - Virginia Beach, VA

Shawn Novak, 16, was convicted of slashing the throats of two young neighborhood boys and was sentenced to life in prison. Several years prior to the incident, friends reported that Novak would wear a cat's paw on a necklace and would brag about killing animals. They also reported that he showed them dead birds, cat's heads and other animal bones.

1.888.213.0956 FAX 301.258.3074

  First Strike


The Links between Cruelty to Animals and Human Violence

Addendum to The Humane Society of the United States News article, Summer, 19869 by Dr. Randall Lockwood and Guy R. Hodge

 The Tangled Web of Animal Abuse

"One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.' Anthropologist Margaret Mead

· JEFFREY L. DAHMER: Serial Killer, Sexual Deviant

Dahmer confessed to killing, dismembering and, in some cases, cannibalizing, 17 men and boys. As a child, Dahmer impaled frogs, decapitated dogs, and staked cats to trees in his backyard. Dahmer was convicted to death but before the sentence was carried out he was killed by another inmate in 1994.

· TED BUNDY: Serial Killer, Rapist

Bundy killed numerous females who looked liked a woman for which he had a passion. In the 1970's he brought fear to college campuses in many states after killing 3 women in the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University. He was ultimately convicted of two killings, but is suspected of murdering over 40 females, primarily in the northwest. During his childhood he witnessed his father's brutality toward animals and he himself tortured animals. Bundy was executed in Florida.

· RICHARD ALLEN DAVIS: Accused killer and rapist of 12 year old Polly Klaas

Davis has been charged with the kidnapping of Polly Klass, 12, from her own home, raping and strangling her. As a 14-year-old he set cats on fire and used dogs as target to practice knife-throwing. In 1993 he was charged with the shooting death of Marlene Voris 20 years ago. "When he was little it was animals. When he got bigger it was people.' said Zak Backet a neighbor.

CHARLES JASON BALDWIN (16): Killed three 8 year-old-boys

These three teenage boys were arrested in 1993 for the brutal murder of three 8-year old boys in West Memphis. The three young boys were lured into the woods, beaten into unconsciousness, one was sexually mutilated, another raped, and all three killed. For some time prior to the killing, the three teenagers were involved in satanic-type rituals. During an initiation ceremony they killed dogs, skinned them, and ate their flesh. Echols was also carrying a head of a cat with him.

· EARL KENNETH SHRINER: Sexual Predator, Killer, and Rapist

Shriner used threats to lure a 7-year-old boy into a wooded area in Washington state where he raped him, cut off his- penis, choked him, stabbed him in the back and neck, and left him for dead. At the age of 16, he confessed to the killing of a teen-age girl. Police say he *was a man who put firecrackers in the anuses; of dogs and strung up cats." He was committed to a state mental hospital after several incidents, including the slaughter of nearly two dozen chickens.

· ERIC SMITH: Adolescent Killer of 4-year-old boy

When Eric Smith was 13 years old, he bludgeoned 4-year-old Derrick Robic to death and was charged with murder. Four years prior to the killing of Derrick, Smith killed the neighbor's cat with a gardenhose. There are no specific reasons why he killed the little boy or the cat.

· THOMAS LEE DILLION: Murderer and Suspected Serial killer

Dillion is said to be a serial killer. Dillion admitted to the shooting of Gary Bradly in 1992, while both were hunting. Dillion, an ardent hunter who also boasted of killing more than 1000 animals in illegal drive shootings, is serving a life sentence in Ohio on five murder convictions.

MICHAEL CARTIER: Stalker and Murderer

In 1992, Cartier stalked and killed Kristen Lardner is Boston, Massachusetts and then killed himself. Ina prior relationship, Cartier held his girlfriend's kitten under a hot shower and then shaved all its hair off. Later he hurled it through a fourth floor window to its death.


  The Doris DayAnimal Foundation

  Study links DV and Animal Cruelty (news artical)

  The Connection Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
                 Provided by the Humane Society's First Strike Campaign