Letter: Evidence shows that abusing an animal leads to human violence

FILE - This August 11, 1977 file photo shows David Berkowitz, who called himself "Son of Sam," arriving at Brooklyn Courthouse in New York after a summer killing spree. Animal abuser registries are being established in a growing number of municipalities. Proponents point to the reported animal cruelty history of Texas school shooter Nikolas Cruz and other notorious killers, including Berkowitz, to highlight the need for registries identifying abusers. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz, FIle)

An animal is abused every minute. Researchers have linked animal cruelty and aggression to crimes against humans.

Family violence, sexual abuse, serial killers, mass shooters, organized crime, and terrorism have all been related to animal cruelty. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans desired to own a pet to improve their mental health – animal shelters throughout the country are now reporting an uptick in animal abuse. I feel that law enforcement and society should take this seriously, not only because it has the potential to lead to other concerns, but I consider animals as part of the family, and their lives have value. No living thing deserves to be harmed, human or otherwise.

Animals are frequently abused by criminals convicted of child and domestic abuse. They even utilize animal torture and killing to maintain control over human victims. This tendency has also been observed in serial killers, school shooters, and mass murderers.

There have been at least 159 school shootings in the United States since 2013, a startling rate. Many shooters had a shared past, such as torturing and killing animals before their crimes against people. We cannot treat animal and human violence as distinct tragedies when the evidence clearly shows that they come from the same primary source. Federal prison counselors who assessed offenders for high levels of hostility discovered that 70% of the most violent inmates had a history of significant and frequent animal abuse.

If somebody can mistreat an animal, what are they capable of doing to a human? Evidence shows that abusing an animal leads to human violence, something we must actively try to avoid.

Jordan Pyne, North Salt Lake

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