Unacceptable Dog Abuse: An Argumentative Essay
Walking down the street, a woman sees a pit-bull hunkered under a shrub. She thought to herself, “I cannot believe how someone could mistreat that poor animal”, while she walked by on her way home. Later that evening, the woman put on her makeup (safely tested on animals) and her fox fur coat and left again for a night on the town. The neglect that was taken out on the dog disgusted the woman, but what she fails to realize is that the material items she owns also contribute to the abuse of animals. While neglect, owner inflicted abuse, is frowned upon by society, other types of dog abuse are just ignored and forgotten about. Dog abuse is still abuse, no matter what form it comes in. Society does ban dog abuse that is imposed on the dog by the owner, and abuse in the form of human entertainment (dogfights), which they should. At the same time, society turns a blind eye on the abuse a dog endures through scientific experiments in order help improve mankind. To what extent is pain and suffering endured by an animal justified? Research shows that society accepts some forms of abuse and not others. Scientific experiments done on dogs are a form of dog abuse that society finds acceptable. Society deems abuse such as dogs being used for entertainment and dogs that have been neglected by their owners to be unacceptable. By refusing to allow our society to have the ability to categorize dog abuse, we are allowing society to alter its mind set on how the good that comes from abuse outweighs the bad. The problem of society having this mind set can be solved with a change in our legislation. A new legislation, strengthening the punishment for abusing dogs, to help insure the well being of all dogs will result in a change in the mindset of society. In our society, we imprison or fine those who mistreat or abuse their dogs. Those who abuse their dogs get looked down upon and face major consequences for their actions. Although these abusers are being punished for their crime, more needs to be done to put a stop to dog abuse. Research has proven that animal abuse is tied to the psychological behaviors of the owner. Those who tend to abuse dogs were often abused themselves as children. “Animal abuse appears to be more common in families where child and spouse abuse are present” (Agnew 178). Children adapt certain psychological traits that stay with them as they become adults. It is likely that an abused or bullied child will grow up to inflict abuse on other beings. Schwartz states, those who were victimized by physical bullying were significantly more likely to contribute in animal abuse (849). For those who were mistreated as children, they grow up to have a callused heart, meaning that they have no sympathy for others. As those abused children grow into adulthood, their crimes intensify. Crimes such as dog abuse turn into theft, distribution of drugs, assault or even murder. According to Barnes, those who abuse animals are “5.3 times more likely to have a violent criminal record that those who do not abuse animals, 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes, 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug-related offenses, and 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for disorderly behavior” (1617). Barnes’ study shows that those who grew up abusing dogs progress to bigger crimes. Along with Barnes, Agnew’s data suggests that serial killers and mass murderers most commonly engaged in animal abuse as children (178). Along with abuse affecting the psychological behavior of the owner’s childhood and then into adulthood, abuse also takes its toll on the psychological behavior of the dog itself. Once a dog has gone through abuse, it is very likely that it will never behave how it did before being abused. The abuse inflicted on dogs is very traumatizing and can result in the dog’s behavior changing. McMillan states in his article, “Behavioral and Psychological Characteristics of...
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