Animal Cruelty

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Is Animal Cruelty Ethical?

Beyond the ethical and moral considerations, and our own personal beliefs, state laws guide us on what type of incidents or situations warrant the label of animal cruelty. And although the law is admittedly vague, it provides us with some guidelines. Animal cruelty can run the gamut from the unintentional neglect to the intentional torture of an animal. Neglect situations generally stem from the omission of what by law an owner shall provide to their animals, namely; wholesome food and water, adequate shelter from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering and humane care and treatment. It is important for us to keep in mind that the level of care we may provide for our animals may be decidedly different than what an owner suspected of neglect may provide, however, it may not be illegal. Often, the situation can be corrected by a humane investigator providing education and reasonable suggestions. Cruel treatment however, which includes but is not limited to beating, tormenting, and starving an animal, along with the felony offenses of animal torture and animal fighting, are intentional acts, and warrant an investigation that seeks criminal charges.

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Animal cruelty encompasses a range of different behaviors harmful to animals,

from neglect to malicious, brutal killings. Studies show that animal cruelty may lead to

more serious forms of crime, like heavy drug use, violent outbursts, and most common,

cold blooded murder. Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the

last twenty-five years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty.

A web page that goes by the name Animal Alliance says “most cruelty investigated by humane officers, is unintentional neglect, and can be resolved through education.” I was slightly shocked when I saw this comment. Anyone who puts an animals’ life in their hands, has a responsibility to it. You don’’t just forget to feed him/her, or forget to show them love unless it is intentional, it get so much worse, though. These people aren’t just forgetting to feed their pets, or give them attention, they’’re kicking and beating them, poisoning and butchering these poor creatures, and what makes me sick to my stomach, is that some of these people do it for fun!! I recently ran across a link to a web page that contained a online petition to put a cat’’s killers to justice with maximum sentence. This is the article I found on this brutal torture of an innocent creature.

WARNING (graphic details)

On October 10, 1, a beautiful female cat came willingly to the four boys who

stopped on the side of the road and called to her. Her trust was rewarded by unthinkable

terror and cruelty - being used as a tug-of-war toy until the boys heard something pop,

having her legs broken, being jumped up and down on like a trampoline. Even when her

pitiful battered body was laying there as she was mercifully dead, her suffering was not at an end.The boys then placed her ravaged body under the wheel of their car, backing over her, as they drove off to find other amusement. Once the Chesapeake Animal Control conducted their investigation and performed a necropsy, criminal charges were filed against of the 4 boys involved.

If these charges are found to be accurate, these boys are not only in violation of the laws of the State of Virginia, but are also in need of immediate psychiatric intervention.

After I read these stories I was disgusted, revolted, down right sickened by the realization that these men needed to be institutionalized or locked down. It’’s scare’’s me to think of what they would and are capable of doing to a human being.

The FBI uses reports of animal cruelty in analyzing the threat potential of

suspected and known violent criminals. Dr. Randall Lockwood, vice president of

Training Initiatives for The Humane Society of the United States, states that

“Researchers, as well as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies nationwide, have

linked animal cruelty to domestic violence, child abuse, serial killings, and to the recent

rash of killings by school-age children. I found yet another web page listing some

reports from police case files. I was astonished! These are a few excerpts from that page.

Russell Weston Jr., tortured and killed 1 cats, by burning, cutting their tails, paws, ears off, put toxic chemicals in their eyes, blinding them, forcing them to eat poison, hanging them from trees; the noose loose enough to create a slow and painful death, as the cat/kitten struggles to free itself as the noose gets tighter with each attempt. Later killed officers at our Nations Capitol. Jeffery Dahmer loved to dissect animals (he learned this in school). Later he dissected boys, and kept their body parts in the refrigerator. Murdered 17 men.

On May 1, 18 in Springfield, Oregon; 15-year-old Kip Kinkel set a live cat on fire

and dragged the innocent creature through the main street of town. He walked into his

high school cafeteria and opened fire on his classmates. Two classmates were killed and others injured, four critically. Later that day, police found his parents shot to death in their home.

Prior to committing multiple murders, Luke Woodham, age 16, wrote in his personal

journal that he and an accomplice beat, burned and tortured his dog, Sparkle, to death.

Woodham said it was true beauty. He poured liquid fuel down his dogs throat and set

fire to her neck, both inside and outside. On 10/1/177, Woodham stabbed his mother to death and then went to his high school where he shot and killed two classmates -- two girls aged 16 and 17, and injured seven others. In June 18, Woodham was found guilty of three murders and seven counts of aggravated assault.

He was sentenced to three life sentences and an additional 0 years for each assault.

The Kobe Killer, an as yet unnamed 15-year-old boy in Japan, beheaded a cat and

strangled several pigeons. Decapitated 11-year-old Jun Hase, and battered to death a

10-year-old girl with a hammer, and assaulted three other children in separate attacks.

At years old, Eric Smith strangled a neighbors cat. At 1 years old, he bludgeoned

four-year-old Derrick Robie to death.

Smith lured the little boy into the woods, choked him, sodomize him with a stick, then beat him to death with a rock. Arthur Shawcross repeatedly threw a kitten into a lake until the kitten drowned from exhaustion. Killed a young girl. Then, after serving 15-1/ years in prison, he killed 11 more women.”Dr. Randall Lockwood stated, ““Violence directed at animals by young people is a

sign that something is terribly wrong, and often acts as a warning of future violence, even killings directed against humans.” In the in the past 18 months, we have seen seven school shootings. In each one, it was learned that the perpetrators had abuse, tortured, and killed animals before moving on to their human victims and our nation is wondering what happened. One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it. Our child must be taught young that it wrong to poke at puppy’’s eyes. We can’’t afford to ignore what we think of as childish exploration. Our children learn the most important aspects of life young and if they’’re not aware of what is right and wrong, it could possibly lead to more dangerous attempts. As a society, we can not tolerate cruelty towards animals. People inclined to inflict pain and torture upon animals have a predisposition to violence against both animals and humans.

A 17 study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) reports that youngsters convicted of animal abuse are five times more likely to commit violence against other humans than are their peers, four times more likely to be involved in acts against property, and three times more likely to be drug offenders.

Euthanasia The word can serve as its own guideline.

Though sometimes regarded as a euphemism for killing, the word euthanasia actually means good death. It is derived from the Greek terms eu for good and thanatos for death. For purposes of this manual, euthanasia is the act of inducing a death without pain or stress. To carry out the act is to euthanize the animal.

Humane is defined as Characterized by kindness, mercy, or compassion, marked by an emphasis on humanistic values and concerns; Synonyms humane, compassionate, humanitarian, merciful. The central meaning shared by these adjectives is marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation

Most investigators who use animals must eventually face the need to bring about their deaths. In some cases, the animal must die so that its tissues can be recovered for analysis. In others, the animals scientific usefulness has ended, and it must be disposed of. In either case, the investigator is obligated to carry out euthanasia; he or she must provide the animal a good death.

In the simplest terms, a good death is one in which the animal experiences no pain, no fear, and no other significant stress before dying. Usually, this means that death occurs instantly or that the animal is first rendered fully unconscious through painless methods.

If postmortem tissues are needed for research, euthanasia must leave those tissues free of exogenous substances or alterations that could confound the collection or interpretation of data.

1. Inhalant Anesthetics

Advantages - (1) Inhalant anesthetics are particularly valuable for euthanasia of smaller animals (about 7 kg) or in animals in which venipuncture may be difficult. () Halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, and nitrous oxide (NO) are nonflammable and nonexplosive under ordinary environmental conditions.

Disadvantages - (1) Struggling and anxiety may develop during induction of anesthesia because anesthetic vapors may be irritating and can induce excitement. () Ether is flammable and explosive and should not be used near an open flame or other ignition sources. Explosions have occurred when animals, euthanatized with ether, were placed in an ordinary (not explosion proof) refrigerator or freezer and when bagged animals were placed in an incinerator. () Nitrous oxide will support combustion. (4) Personnel and animals can be injured by exposure to these agents. (5) There is a potential for human abuse of some of these drugs, especially nitrous oxide.

AVMA Recommendations - In order of preference, halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, and ether, with or without nitrous oxide, are acceptable for euthanasia of small animals ( about 7 kg). Nitrous oxide should not be used alone, pending further scientific studies on its suitability for animal euthanasia. Although acceptable, these agents are generally not used in larger animals because of their cost and difficulty of administration.

Note The use of ether as an anesthetic is strongly discouraged by LAS.

Signs for Judging Morbidity (disease/illness) in Rodents

rapid respiration

respiration very slow, shallow, and labored

rapid weight loss

ruffled fur (rough hair coat)

hunched posture

hypothermia or hyperthermia

ulcerative dermatitis or infected tumors


diarrhea or constipation

Signs for Judging the Moribund Condition (state of dying) in Rodents

Signs of morbidity plus

impaired ambulation (unable to reach food or water easily)

evidence of muscle atrophy or other signs of emaciation (body weight is not always proportionate)

any obvious prolonged illness, including such signs as lethargy (drowsiness, aversion to activity, lack of physical or mental alertness), prolonged inappetence, bleeding, difficulty breathing, central nervous system disturbances, chronic diarrhea or constipation

inability to remain upright

Signs of Pain in Animals

animal not alert

abnormal movement or postures

inappetence or dehydration

guarding reaction when likely areas of pain are palpated

vocalization when palpated or moved


restlessness or lethargy


Whenever you must mut choose euthanize an animal don’t do it because the animal is

too much trouble do it beause it needs to be put out of its misery. Bibliography

1. http//

a) Cat Killers

. Colorado High School Gunmen Linked To Animal Cruelty (web article)



. Animal Alliance-http//

4. Animal Victims/Human Victims Reports from Police Case Files-



1 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia

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