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Animal Abuse and Youth Violence

By Frank R. Ascione

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The past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the relation between cruelty to animals, or animal abuse, and serious violent behavior, especially among youthful offenders. As an illustration, a recent study by Verlinden (2000) of 9 school shootings in the United States (from Moses Lake, WA, in 1996 to Conyers, GA, in 1999) reported that 5 (45 percent) of the 11 perpetrators had histories of alleged animal abuse. The most well-documented example was the case of Luke Woodham who, in the April before his October 1997 murder of his mother and two schoolmates, tortured and killed his own pet dog (Ascione, 1999).


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2001
Issue September 2001
Pages 16
Series Juvenile Justice Bulletin
Publisher U.S Department of Justice
Department Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquincy Prevention
Location of Publication Washington D.C
Language English
Notes This government document was found at the U.S Department of Justice, FDLP Electronic Collection Archive,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Adolescents
  2. Animal abuse
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Pet ownership