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Animal Cruelty and Human Violence – The Connection

Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Birmingham, AL


  • The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that in 1996 there were 9.1 million violent crimes in the United States.
  • A 1997 study by the MSPCA and Northeastern University found that 70% of animal abusers had committed at least one other criminal offense and almost 40% had committed violent crimes against people.
  • A 1986 study reported that 48% of convicted rapist and 30% of convicted child abusers admitted perpetrating acts of animal cruelty in their childhood or adolescence.
  • A history of animal abuse was found in 25% of aggressive male criminals, 30% of convicted child molesters, 36% of those who assaulted women and 46% of those convicted of sexual homicide.
Animal Cruelty and Human Violence – The Connection



  • Every 15 seconds a woman is battered.
  • In 3 surveys in women’s shelters in WI and UT in the late 1990’s an average of 74% of pet-owning women reported that a pet had been threatened, injured or killed by their abuser.
  • The Buffalo, NY police department and the SPCA of Erie County found that 1/3 of the residents with animal abuse complaints also had domestic violence complaints.
  • A survey of women in a safehouse in UT found that 20% delayed leaving the abusive situation out of fear that their pet would be harmed. Data currently being collected in Canada found almost 50% delayed leaving.
  • A 1995 UT survey also found that children witnessed the animals abuse in over 60% of the cases and 32% of women reported that one or more of their children hurt or killed a pet.


  • In 1991 the United States Board on Child Abuse and Neglect released a report indicating that more than 2.5 million American children are suffering from abuse and neglect.
  • A 1983 survey in NJ of families reported for child abuse found that in 88% of the families at least one person had abused animals.
  • The NJ study also found that in 2/3 of these cases the abusive parent had injured or killed a pet and in 1/3 of the cases, children were the animal abusers.
  • A study by the Royal SPCA in Great Britain found that 83% of families with a history of animal abuse has also been identified by social service agencies as at-risk for child abuse or neglect.

Courtesy of
The Greater Birmingham Humane Society/

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