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Animal Cruelty and Elder Abuse

By Edward F. Ansello

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Do people who mistreat animals also mistreat humans? Over the course of time, does someone who mistreats small creatures “graduate” to abusing humans, especially vulnerable older adults?
We’ve heard, of course, about the extreme, sociopathic murderers who escalated from cruelty to creatures to cruelty to humans. Clearly, there is a sub-set of simply bad people who do extreme harm to vulnerable others, whether animal or human. And their paths may have begun with awful abuse of animals. On a more modest level, is there a link with indifference or neglect of pets leading to the same with humans, with those in later life?


Katie Carroll

Date 2016
Publication Title Age in Action
Volume 31
Issue 1
Publisher Virginia Center on Aging
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abuse
  2. Animal cruelty
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animal welfare
  5. neglect
  6. Older adults
  7. Pet ownership
  8. Pets and companion animals