I’m sure most people have heard of the studies that talk about children torturing animals and how it leads to violent adults. I’ve also seen studies that talk about how violent people usually have little sympathy with animals or people. And now let’s look at what Stacy Harp had to say a couple of weeks ago about some baby possums. Apparently one got into her house (and I wouldn’t like that either). Her dogs then must have found a number of them because they start bringing them in her house. While the first one was dead, the second one was not. So what did she and her husband do? What most civilized people would do is to call animal control and they would send someone out to rescue the poor thing. It had been handled by dogs and was probably injured. It wasn’t dead, it was just pretending to be dead, which is what possums are known for.
Her post, incidentally, is called "How Would You Kill A Possum?"
Her husband wanted to put it in a bag and bash it with a shovel. Stacy didn’t like that idea, so they compromised. Here is what she wrote on the compromise:
"We hung the possum on a nail out back inside a tied plastic garbage bag. If the possum is still there tomorrow morning, we figured it will have died. If it’s gone, then that thing will probably end up being killed eventually by my dogs."
Is this woman really a therapist that works with children? She puts an injured baby animal in a tied plastic bag and hangs it up on a fence. What did she think it could do being tied in a bag? This is animal cruelty at its best and it gives you another glimpse at Stacy Harp. This is really sick behavior. So the poor thing either suffocates in a tied plastic bag while hanging on a fence, or is eventually killed by her dogs. My god, I could never think of doing that to an animal, even one I didn’t like. And my first thought goes to the Old Testament, which clearly is disregarded in some parts (unless of course it is Lev.). Hear what God has to say about the animals:
Genesis 1:24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so.1:25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
I wonder if Stacy and her husband thought about the good things that God made, including that poor little possum, when they decided to put it, alive, in a plastic bag, which they then hung on their fence to either die by suffocation, heat or their dogs.
Here is what one source says about animal cruelty:
There are many different reasons why individuals abuse animals. Animal cruelty covers a wide range of actions (or lack of action), so one blanket answer simply isn’t possible. Each type of abuse has displayed certain patterns of behavior that we can use to help understand more about why people commit the crimes we encounter today. Animal cruelty is often broken down into two main categories: active and passive, also referred to as commission and omission, respectively. …Active cruelty implies malicious intent, where a person has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to an animal, and is sometimes referred to as NAI (Non-Accidental Injury). Acts of intentional cruelty are often some of the most disturbing and should be considered signs of serious psychological problems. This type of behavior is often associated with sociopathic behavior and should be taken very seriously.
Here is what the Humane Society has to say about children and violence against animals:
What should I do if my child or a neighbor’s child has harmed an animal?
If you suspect your child has deliberately harmed an animal, talk to your child. Try to discover what caused the cruelty. Communicate with your child, your child’s teachers, and your child’s friends. The more you know about your child’s activities, the better able you will be to guide your child in making compassionate and humane choices.
Something as serious as animal cruelty, however, should not be handled alone. Seek help from a family counselor, school counselor, pediatrician, or clergy member. If you know another child who has harmed an animal, report what you know immediately to your local animal-welfare organization or police department. Alert the child’s school principal or guidance counselor.
What is the difference between innocent exploration and calculated animal cruelty?
Innocent exploration may come of simple curiosity, but calculated animal cruelty is motivated by a desire to harm. While even innocent acts of cruelty should be addressed, it is particularly important to intervene when a child is insensitive to the obvious distress of an animal, repeats a harmful behavior, or derives pleasure from causing an animal pain.
Here is what petabuse.com has to say:
According to a 1997 study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse.
Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. The FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s, when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder.
If you break it down to its bare essentials:
"Abusing an animal is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend itself."
The line separating an animal abuser from someone capable of committing human abuse is much finer than most people care to consider. People abuse animals for the same reasons they abuse people. Some of them will stop with animals, but enough have been proven to continue on to commit violent crimes to people that it’s worth paying attention to.
Virtually every serious violent offender has a history of animal abuse in their past, and since there’s no way to know which animal abuser is going to continue on to commit violent human crimes, they should ALL be taken that seriously. FBI Supervisory Special Agent Allen Brantley was quoted as saying "Animal cruelty… is not a harmless venting of emotion in a healthy individual; this is a warning sign…" It should be looked at as exactly that. Its a clear indicator of psychological issues that can and often DO lead to more violent human crimes.
Dr. Randall Lockwood, who has a doctorate in psychology and is senior vice president for anti-cruelty initiatives and training for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, states "A kid who is abusive to a pet is quite often acting out violence directly experienced or witnessed in the home," Lockwood said, adding that about one-third of children who are exposed to family violence will act out this violence, often against their own pets.
Whether a teenager shoots a cat without provocation or an elderly woman is hoarding 200 cats in her home, "both are exhibiting mental health issues… but need very different kinds of attention," Lockwood said.
Those who abuse animals for no obvious reason, Lockwood said, are "budding psychopaths." They have no empathy and only see the world as what it’s going to do for them.
Her last sentence asks:
"My question is how would you have killed it?"
My question is "why Stacy, did you feel you had to torture the poor thing?" As I said, any normal person would have called animal control. There are lots of people out there who would have come and taken that baby possum and nursed it back to health. But no. They decide to kill it by torturing it. Luckily it escaped. Let’s just hope that her dogs don’t get it again. I can’t imagine what she would do to it the second time around. I have a feeling it won’t escape again.
I really, really wish I didn’t read what she had to say in that post. I usually feel sorry for Stacy Harp. But no more. Anyone who can put a defenseless baby animal into a bag and tie the top and put it outside to die isn’t worthy of being pitied. There is something seriously wrong with this.