The images of the kitten we received from the Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge this week were not only heart-wrenching, they were frightening. But this is what our society has come to - and it's a tell-tale sign of what the future holds if we ignore the issue. Experts hypothesize that children who are cruel to animals grow up to be cruel to people. . .and the correlation between the acts of violence has been proven time and time again.
It's a dangerous trend!
Because abusers target the powerless, crimes against animals, spouses, children, and the elderly often go hand in hand. Children who abuse animals may be repeating a lesson learned at home; like their parents, they are reacting to anger or frustration with violence. Their violence is directed at the only individual in the family who is more vulnerable than they are: an animal.
Schools, parents, communities, and courts are beginning to realize that shrugging off cruelty to animals as a "minor" crime is like ignoring a ticking time bomb. Some courts nowaggressively penalize animal abusers, examine families for other signs of violence, and order perpetrators to undergo psychological evaluations and counseling.
In order to conquer the issue in our communities, we must first recognize that abuse to any living being is unacceptable and endangers everyone. Children should be taught to care for and respect animals. The evolution of a more gentle and benign relationship in human society might be enhanced by our promotion of a more positive and nurturing ethic between children and animals.
We sincerely hope the young boys responsible for the most recent act of animal cruelty in community are brought to justice. Moreover, we hope they receive the help they need to curb the violence in their lives.