Animal Cruelty by L. M-Perez and K.M.Heide

Animal Cruelty by L. M-Perez and K.M.Heide

Animal Cruelty Pathway to Violence Against People by Linda Merz-Perez and Kathleen M.Heide

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Practitioners in the animal welfare field, law enforcement circles, and social services arena have often maintained that childhood cruelty to animals is a forerunner to violence against people. Does this behavior serve as a red flag with respect to extremely violent offenders, such as serial killers? MerzPerez and Heide provide the first scientific examination of this relationship and examine issues of cruelty across different types of animals (pet, wild, stray, farm). The authors evaluate the correlations between childhood cruelty and adult violent behavior, utilizing interviews and criminal records of violent and nonviolent inmates in a maximum security prison. Their findings will be of importance to a diverse audience, including researchers and practitioners in the field of juvenile justice, violence and domestic abuse, social welfare, animal welfare and animal rights and developmental psychologists and counselors, as well as law enforcement officers, district attorneys and judges, county and municipal officials, animal control officers, veterinarians, and school administrators, especially those concerned with intervention and prevention strategies.



Our understanding of the phenomenon of animal abuse has been advanced significantly by Merz-Perez and Heide's efforts. Their work should attract the attention of students and professionals who work in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, law, criminology, social work, child welfare, and family violence. The interested layperson will also benefit from this book since it presents a thoughtful and concise overview on animal abuse and the characteristics of those who perpetrate it. The book will no doubt become a classic reference in this field... Healing often begins with a journey of understanding-Merz-Perez and Heide have hastened our travel along this path. -- Frank R. Ascione, Ph.D., Utah State University One of the greatest challenges to those of us concerned about crime and violence is that there are so many potential forces at work that can lead an individual down many different paths... This collaboration has brought an original orientation to these issues that has combined careful attention to quantitative method and strongly held concern for the victims of violence, regardless of their species... Ultimately this work, like other important research that has proceeded it, is aimed at better understanding one of the greatest questions we face-the nature and origins of evil... Rarely do such problems arise without warning, but the warnings may be unheeded if the victim is 'only an animal.' Merz-Perez and Heide have given us new and stronger reasons to take animal abuse very seriously. -- Randall Lockwood, Ph.D., The Humane Society of the United States

About the Author

Linda MerzPerez is the former executive director of the Humane Society of Shelby County, Alabama. She currently serves on the boards of HandInPaw and the SPCA, West Pasco; has served as courtappointed Animal Cruelty Investigative Officer; and has been involved in the field of animal welfare for the last 14 years. Kathleen M. Heide is professor of criminology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and a licensed mental health counselor. She is an internationally recognized consultant on adolescent homicide, family violence, personality assessment, and juvenile justice, and the author of Why Kids Kill Parents: Child Abuse and Adolescent Homicide (1992) and Young Killers: The Challenge of Juvenile Homicide (1999).


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