Animal Cruelty Linked to Violence

A new study has found a notable link between incidences of animal cruelty and domestic violence.

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New research shows that children raised in violent homes are more likely to exhibit cruelty toward animals. William J. Fielding, PhD, director of planning at the College of the Bahamas, studied responses from 1,500 participants over 18 months and presented his findings at a symposium last week. Fielding found that domestic violence and the presence of a gun within a household correlated with children having a higher risk of exhibiting abuse towards animals. Additionally, the study revealed that as people age, most tend to show remorse for their cruelty, but those who did not were more likely to exhibit criminal behavior. This finding is consistent with the proven link between empathy toward animals and empathy toward other humans.

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