• Tia Hoffer
  • Holly Hargreaves-Cormany
  • Yvonne Muirhead
  • J Reid Meloy
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


The discussion section focuses on the conceptualization of animal cruelty and the impact of animal cruelty acts in society. Given that the dog was the most frequently noted animal victim, the development of the relationship between humans and dogs is a significant one. Through the domestication and property status of animals, the relationship with dogs is at times one that indicates some conflict. Are dogs property or members of the family?

The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) study was initiated based on a homicide case and cats that were being eviscerated. The question of the connection between these two acts of violence prompted the idea of examining the criminal histories of animal cruelty offenders for the degree of interpersonal violence. In addition to supporting the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence, the study did not obtain results to support the graduation hypothesis, but instead was consistent with the social deviance theory, which notes that individuals who exhibit socially deviant behavior in one area are more likely to commit other deviant behaviors as well.

The discussion section anchored the current study’s results with the research including offender motivation, victim characteristics, the relationship between offender and animal victim, and offense characteristics.


Animal cruelty The link Interpersonal violence Conscious beings Competition Wolves Extirpation Domesticate animals Attachment Pet Interpersonal violence Batterers Domestic violence Risk of violence Motivations Multifaceted Displaced/retaliated against an animal Punishment for unwanted behavior of animal Animal unwanted To control an animal attachment Empathy Expanding circles Inner circle Empathic response Fear of abandonment Increased anxiety Clinging Jealousy Beating Kicking Strangling Shootings Stabbings Instrument Personal weapon Cause of death Dogs Cats Developmental issues Access Opportunity and vulnerability The graduation hypothesis theory Social deviance theory 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tia Hoffer
    • 1
  • Holly Hargreaves-Cormany
    • 2
  • Yvonne Muirhead
    • 3
  • J Reid Meloy
    • 4
  1. 1.Federal Bureau of InvestigationKapoleiUSA
  2. 2.Marymount UniversityArlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Federal Bureau of InvestigationSan AntonioUSA
  4. 4.University of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA

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