The "Link" Between

Animal Abuse,

Domestic Violence,

and Child Abuse


Animal Abuse




Animal Abuse


Child Abuse

Animal Abuse:

The Role of


Animal abuse/human violence publications




When a cat left footprints on Randy Roth's newly waxed car, he caught the cat and bound it to the driveshaft of its owner's car with duct tape. When the car was started, the cat was quickly dismembered, its screams muffled
by the sounds of the engine. Roth later murdered his wife by drowning her near Bellevue, WA.

Richard Davis reportedly set fire to cats and used dogs for target practice as a child. He was convicted of murdering 12-year-old Polly Klaas after kidnapping her from her Petaluma, CA home.

Jeffrey Dahmer had an early fascination with dismembering animals. He tortured and cannibalized 11 people.

David Berkowitz shot his neighbor's dog. He confessed to six murders as the Son of Sam.

Albert DeSalvo put dogs and cats in crates and then shot them with arrows. We know him better as the Boston Strangler.

Luke Woodham... "Kip" Kinkel... Eric Smith.... Russell Weston Jr... Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson ...the list goes on and on. When asked how many serial killers had a history of abusing animals, FBI Special Agent Alan Bradley answered, "The real question should be, how many have not?"

The body of evidence linking animal abuse to human violence is convincing and growing. In study after study, a high incidence of animal abuse is found in the childhood histories of violent criminals, and embedded within the constellations of child abuse and domestic violence. Battered pets are a serious component of family violence and a sentinel indicator of other social problems and acts of interpersonal violence.

While the recognition of these connections is not new (the nation's SPCAs started the child protection movement 150years ago), the recognition that it takes all of us to form a more humane society is. Exciting recent initiatives, such as the new National Link Coalition, are building interdisciplinary community collaborations that address the prevention, identification, intervention, and treatment of all forms of family violence. Animal care and control, child protection and domestic violence agencies are working together to:


Animal-Assisted Therapy:

A Premise and a Promise






The "Link"


Animal Abuse,

Domestic Violence

and Child Abuse