As states all over America have started announcing heavy punishments for cruelty against animals, researchers from Michigan State University have found the relationship between the person committing animal abuse and the animal or its owner.
Professor of the urban and regional planning, Ms. Laura Reese said that crimes of animal-neglect are mostly committed by the owner himself whereas crimes such as kicking, stabbing or any physical abuse is likely done by someone close to the owner such as a family member or an intimate partner.
Cassie Richard, a master’s student of public policy and Reese studied over 300 police reports regarding animal cruelty in Detroit from 2007 to 2015. The researchers established a list of reasons why people would abuse the animals and the methods in which they would choose to do so.
The researchers concluded that it is usually the owners themselves who engage their dogs in fighting competitions as a form of abuse, mostly for the sake of money. They also found that most of the stabbings were done by family members whereas the poisoning was the neighbors doing mostly. Researchers said that motivations for animal cruelty differ and for intimate partners, frustration due to a failing relationship is often unleashed on the pet.
Reese said that it is not just an animal problem but a human problem too. Dog fighting in his opinion is a public safety problem whereas the dogs running freely and biting people as a result of neglect is a public health problem. So, he believes that addressing the human problems will also help in determining animal problems and vice versa and that is how public officers should be encouraged to think.
However, she said that policymakers don’t do so. She further said that there should be some coordinated effort between law enforcing, public and non-profit agencies for the protection of animals.
Reese also added that simply educating and informing people about the proper nutrition, neutering and spaying could be done in the schools. He said that sometimes people do want to do the right thing but don’t have the appropriate resources to do so.