News: Animal and human abuse: the Link

Published Wed April 21, 2021

Research proves the link

Animal cruelty is related to cruelty to humans.

Link circle: abuse
National Link Coalition

For many years, research into the relationship between animal cruelty and cruelty to humans has been conducted around the world. The conclusion is clear: there is a  link.

Some examples of this research from the Animal Legal Defense fund are below.

  • A 1997 study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Northeastern University found that animal abusers are in fact five times as likely to also harm other humans. Click here to see that study.

  • A 1983 study notes that animal abuse was found in 88% of homes in which physical child abuse was being investigated.

  • A 2017 study showed that 89% of women who had companion animals during an abusive relationship reported that their animals were threatened, harmed, or killed by their abusive partner.

  • If a child is cruel to animals, research shows it may be a sign that serious abuse or neglect has been inflicted on the child. Children who witness animal abuse are at greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.

There are numerous other studies that reach the same conclusion. Click here to access this research.

What is Animal Services doing about this?

  • Animal Services takes animal cruelty complaints seriously and diligently investigates.

  • We work closely with the State Attorney’s Officer on cases that may rise to the level of criminal prosecution.

  • We also work closely with other organizations in our community that deal with various other forms of abuse or neglect including child and elder abuse.

  • Our Animal Services Officers report suspected child and elder abuse. Florida law mandates that any citizen who suspects child neglect to report it. This law can be found in the 2020 State of Florida Statues 39.201, or by clicking here.

How can I report suspected abuse or neglect?

  • Call Animal Services 407-742-8000. You may report anonymously, but prefer that we have your contact for details.

  • Suspected child or elder abuse or neglect can be reported by calling 1-800-962-2873, or using the online reporting form. Click here to access the online reporting form.

  • Call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

  • Call your local law enforcement agency or 911, in an emergency.

For more information, click a link below.