FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Texas Shooting Shows Once Again That Animal Cruelty and Human Cruelty Are Strongly Linked

Photo by The Orchid Club | CC BY 2.0

What do Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Devin Kelley the Texas church killer and a host of other killers have in common? They tortured animals and delighted in the pain they inflicted.

Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991 tortured frogs and cats and decapitated dogs. He mounted their heads on sticks including his own puppy. Mass murderer Ted Bundy watched as his father tortured animals and then did the same.

“The  “Boston Strangler” Albert DeSalvo trapped dogs and cats in wooden crates and shot them with a bow and arrow, reports the New York Post. “John Wayne Gacy, who murdered 33 men and boys in his suburban Chicago home, tortured turkeys by throwing balloons filled with gasoline and then igniting the birds.”

Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, kept pet rats and tortured them.

Criminologists and law enforcement officials now recognize that animal cruelty is a clear predictor of human violence and crime. Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.”

A study of women in one domestic violence center found a shocking 71 percent of women with pets reported their partner threatened, hurt or even killed their pet. Surveys indicate that between 18 percent and 48 percent of battered women have delayed their decision to leave a batterer or returned to the batterer out of fear for the welfare of their pets or livestock.

Now comes news that Devin Kelley, who killed 26 in a Texas church this month, enjoyed killing animals. He actually bought dogs online and used them as target practice the New York Times revealed this week. His Facebook conversations became so full of gleeful descriptions of killing animals, people unfriended and feared him. In Colorado Springs he was charged with cruelty to animals after beating his malnourished husky.

Abused Animals Show Their Wounds

People who work in animal shelters see the deeds of animal abusers, many who will go on to harm humans, every day. Here are some of the things shelter workers see.

Physical Signs of Abuse

– emaciation from intentional starvation

– bruising and hemorrhage

– burns (from open flame, cigarettes, chemicals)

– scars from old injuries, including but not confined to gunshot wounds

– broken bones

– injury to the ano-genital region from zoophilia or firecrackers

– missing limbs, tail, ears, eyes from wounds or such causes as frostbite

Mental Symptoms of Abuse

– increased fear of humans

– increased fear of other animals

– increased aggression toward humans or other animals

– increase in attention-seeking behavior

– excessive barking and excitability

– odd or repetitive behaviors

Some animal shelters and sanctuaries maintain skilled animal behaviorists who use behavioristic techniques to help animals recover. Others rely on positive reward therapy that builds love and trust. Clearly, not all animals recover.

In 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it was elevating animal cruelty to a Group A felony, a charge as serious as homicide, arson and assault and the National Sheriff’s Association quickly hailed the upgrade. Sadly, Devin Kelley was not stopped from legally purchasing guns despite his appalling animal abuse history.

More articles by:

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
Paul Street
The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy
Dave Lindorff
Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential
Ron Jacobs
Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six
Linda Pentz Gunter
Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?
Louis Proyect
Michael Bloomberg and Me
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold
Joseph Natoli
What We Must Do
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Global Poison Spring
Robert Fantina
Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?
Charles McKelvey
A Theory of Truth From the South
Walden Bello
How the Battle of Seattle Made the Truth About Globalization True
Evan Jones
BNP Before a French Court
Torsten Bewernitz – Gabriel Kuhn
Syndicalism for the Twenty-First Century: From Unionism to Class-Struggle Militancy
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo
Thomas Knapp
NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.
Forrest Hylton
Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show
M. G. Piety
A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration
Ellen Isaacs
The Audacity of Hypocrisy
Manuel García, Jr.
From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours
Binoy Kampmark
Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble
Jill Richardson
Marijuana and the Myth of the “Gateway Drug”
Muzamil Bhat
Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses
Gaither Stewart
War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
Farzana Versey
What Religion is Your Nationalism?
Clark T. Scott
The Focus on Trump Reveals the Democrat Model
Monika Zgustova
Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Do Bernie’s Supporters Know What “Not Me, Us” Means? Does Bernie?
Peter Harley
Aldo Leopold, Revisited
Winslow Myers
A Presidential Speech the World Needs to Hear
Christopher Brauchli
The Chosen One
Jim Britell
Misconceptions About Lobbying Representatives and Agencies
Ted Rall
Trump Gets Away with Stuff Because He Does
Mel Gurtov
Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the Insecurity of China’s Leadership
Nicky Reid
Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion
Tom H. Hastings
Cross-Generational Power to Change
John Kendall Hawkins
1619: The Mighty Whitey Arrives
Julian Rose
Why I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone
Elliot Sperber
Class War is Chemical War
December 05, 2019
Colin Todhunter
Don’t Look, Don’t See: Time for Honest Media Reporting on Impacts of Pesticides
Nick Pemberton
Gen Z and Free Speech
Bob Lord
The U-Turn That Made America Staggeringly Unequal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail