Research indicates that violence toward animals serves as a symptom and a predictor of other violent behavior. One representative study found that over 85% of women entering domestic violence shelters talked about pet abuse in the family.
Violence affects all ages and all communities. It comes in many forms: child abuse and neglect, spouse or partner abuse, abuse of the elderly or mentally ill, vandalism and hate crimes. Research indicates that violence toward animals serves as a symptom and a predictor of other violent behavior.
Moreover, many of the most infamous violent criminals in recent years had an early history of extreme cruelty to animals.
When animal abuse can be detected early, it not only saves innocent pets from senseless abuse or death, but also alerts authorities to criminal or abusive behavior, leads to help for children who are developing a pattern of violence, and saves society and the justice system the heavy costs involved in dealing with serious violence offenders.