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Checklist for Factors in the Assessment of Dangerousness in Perpetrators of Animal Cruelty

Randall Lockwood, Ph.D., Courtesy of Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Birmingham, AL


Checklist for Factors in the Assessment of Dangerousness in
Perpetrators of Animal Cruelty

Randall Lockwood, Ph.D.
The Humane Society of the United States

  1. High victim vulnerability
  2. Two or more victims in the same instance
  3. More than one instance or attack with 24 hours
  4. Injury resulted in death of victim(s)
  5. Multiple injuries inflicted on one or more victims
  6. Multiple types of injuries inflicted on one or more victims
  7. Act involved restraint of or direct contact with victim
  8. Victim was bound or otherwise physically incapacitated
  9. Use of fire
  10. Abuse or injury took place over a relatively long time frame
  11. Act was preplanned rather than reactive or opportunistic
  12. Act involved overcoming obstacles to initiate or complete the abuse
  13. Act was committed with high risk of detection or observation
  14. Other illegal acts were committed at the scene of the animal cruelty
  15. Individual was the instigator of an act involving multiple perpetrators
  16. Animal cruelty was used to threaten, intimidate, or coerce human victim
  17. Act of cruelty involved hypersensitivity to real or perceived threats or slights
  18. Absence of economic motive
  19. Past history of positive interactions with victim
  20. Animal victim was subjected to mutilation or postmortem dismemberment
  21. Animal victim was sexually assaulted or mutilated in genital areas or perpetrator indicated sexual arousal as a consequence of the abuse
  22. Act of cruelty was accompanied by sexual symbolism associated with the victim
  23. Perpetrator projected human characteristics onto victim
  24. Perpetrator documented the abuse through photographs, video or diary entries
  25. Perpetrator returned at least once to scene of the abuse, to relieve the experience
  26. Perpetrator left messages or threats in association with the act of cruelty
  27. Animal victim was posed or otherwise displayed
  28. Animal cruelty was accompanied by ritualistic or “satanic” actions
  29. Act of abuse involved staging or reenactment of themes from media of fantasy sources
  30. Perpetrator reportedly experienced altered consciousness during the violent act
  31. Perpetrator reportedly experienced strong positive affective changes during the violent act
  32. Perpetrator lacks insight into cause or motivation of the animal abuse
  33. Perpetrator sees himself as the victim and/or projects blame on other

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