Stopping Animal Abuse Could Prevent Human Abuse

In the beginning of June, a snapping turtle was found having been savagely beaten with what was believed to be a golf club on a course in Delvan, Wisconsin. The turtle ultimately died, and no arrests have been made as of June 21st.


An $8,300 reward is being offered for information regarding the killing of a snapping turtle at the Delbrook golf course in Delvan, Wisconsin on June 10th.

The turtle, which had been roaming the grounds looking for a place to lay her eggs, was found battered and bloody, with wounds on its eyes and holes in its shell, by the course superintendent in a sand dune. The turtle was rushed to the Lake Geneva Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital for emergency surgery, but the turtle did not survive the injuries.

No witnesses have come forward as of yet. The $8,300 reward is being put up by PETA, the Global Conservation Group and the Rock County Humane Society.1

Animal abusers don’t just abuse animals

It is critically important for society that the perpetrators of this crime are found and prosecuted. Studies have proven that animal abusers’ levels of violence escalate, and human victims often become the targets. Because abusers often feel as though they have no power or authority, they lash out and abuse creatures that are smaller and weaker. The victims might start out as animals, and then eventually the abuser starts to harm spouses, children and older adults. A police study in Australia that surveyed 20 sexual homicide offenders revealed that 19 had admitted to committing some kind of animal torture in their childhood or adolescence. 2

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some of the most violent (and famous) criminals started by torturing and/or abusing animals. One example is Luka Magnotta, who was charged with the murder and dismemberment of a Concordia University student. Magnotta first caught the attention of animal rights activists when he posted video of himself suffocating kittens to death on a video-sharing website. The activists pursued Magnotta relentlessly and submitted the results of their investigation to authorities, but he was never arrested or questioned.

The Magnotta case is only one of hundreds of cases that started with animal cruelty and ended with human violence and even death.

We owe it to animals as well as ourselves to take animal abuse and torture seriously. Fortunately, law enforcement and government officials are beginning to take notice of animal abuse and recognize it as the potential societal threat that it is. Some states now require animal control officials to disclose reports of animal offences to child abuse investigators and vice versa in order to facilitate the prevention of assault and abuse to both people and animals. Hopefully, conscientious law enforcement and effective legislation will help to diminish animal cruelty, and keep us and our children safe in the process.

1 Novak, Bill: Reward in Case of Turtle Beaten to Death Tops $8,000 6/19/2013


2 PETA: Animal Abuse and Human Abuse: Partners in Crime