Pup on the mend after bashing

Gladstone RSPCA president Judy Whicker with Sergeant, the puppy that was abused.
Gladstone RSPCA president Judy Whicker with Sergeant, the puppy that was abused. Brenda Strong

IF only he could talk.

Two weeks ago, this great dane cross wolfhound puppy was found crawling out of an embankment wrapped in wire and beaten within an inch of his life.

The shocking incident begs the question: "Who abuses an innocent animal?"

Local psychologist Paul Grant said it depended on each case.

"Animal cruelty typically falls into one of three categories - unintentional, intentional, and deliberately cruel," he said.

"Unintentional animal abuse is by far the most common. Not feeding animals properly, feeding them inadequate diets, and not providing suitable living environments for them are all examples."

He said intentional abuse can be ongoing or spontaneous.

"The motivation for people in these cases may particularly be frustration or anger, as well as a sense of empathy which may be lower or slower to develop than most."

Most concerning was ongoing cruelty.

"Perpetrators may have much more serious psychological problems," he said.

"Their thinking may not be disordered, but they may simply be sadistic; that is they enjoy inflicting pain on animals or enjoy violence."



"Although there are links between hurting animals and hurting people, the relationship is not straightforward," psychologist Paul Grant said. "Although it is often pointed out that most serial killers have a history of being deliberately cruel to animals as children, it is not true to say that most children who have been deliberately cruel to animals will turn out to be serial killers."

"These kinds of offenders may engage in animal abuse because they are seeking some sense of control or power through these acts."

Topics:  animal cruelty bashing crime dogs gladstone psychologist puppy violence

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