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Helpless Victims

Powerful Essays
Pet ownership has reached an all time high in the Untied States. The 2005/2006 APPMA National Pet Owners Survey reports that sixty-three percent of all U.S households own at least one pet, and half of these same households own more than one. These statistics translate to estimates that Americans own over seventy-three million dogs and over ninety million cats (“National”). As the number of pets in the United States rises, so do the cases of animal abuse. Animal abuse isn’t something new, but only recently has there been any research on the motives behind animal abuse. Due to a significant boost in the research of animal abuse cases, and a new emphasis on the reasons behind animal abuse, there have been some remarkable discoveries in just the last ten years. There’s one breakthrough in particular that has become a cornerstone in the effort to try to reduce the number of animal abuse cases each year; studies across the country have found that animal abuse and domestic abuse are directly linked. There are numerous studies that have tried to dig deeper into this connection, because if we are able to better understand what motivates people to abuse animals, we may be able to prevent animal abuse before it happens.

Animal cruelty itself is difficult to define because many times laws leave it up to the judge’s interpretation. Texas penal code § 42.09 states that “a person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly: tortures an animal; fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody; abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody; transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; kills, seriously injures, or administers poison to an animal, other than cattle...

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Patten, Jan. “The Relationship Between Violence Against Children and Animals.” Protecting Children. 1999. American Humane. 13 Nov. 2007 .

Pollard, Krystyna. “Animal Cruelty Not a Case of Boys Being Boys.” AAP General News Wire. (Jan. 2005): 1. Proquest. Cy-Fair College Lib., TX. 12 Nov. 2007 .

Ravenscroft, Gianna. “Summary of Texas Animal Cruelty Laws.” Animal Legal and Historical Center. 2002. Michigan State University - Detroit College of Law. 22 Nov. 2007 .

“Understanding The Link® Between Animal Abuse and Family Violence.” American Humane. 2006. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 13 Nov. 2007 .
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