CH:3 Anti Cruelty Statutes

Truth In Training

While there is no complete or consistent explanation as to why people are sadistic or cruel to pets, in those who choose to work with pets as an occupation a commonality would appear to exist in a tendency to view the animals as “other,” or significantly different to people. Hunter and Brisbin (2016) explain that the person may feel in some way threatened by the existence of the pet, whether it be emotionally, egotistically, or physically. Under such circumstances, any cruel behavior is seen to be “justified” as “teaching the pet a lesson,” and/or there may be a motivation to nullify the “other” by inflicting suffering. Hunter and Brisbin (2016, p.19) conclude that cruelty “in its various forms is thus a human emotional and cognitive response to perceptions or predictions of unpleasant contacts with companion animals.” Meanwhile, from an animal’s perspective, it is in no way in his best interests to intentionally set out to be what a human may perceive to be “annoying” or “frustrating,” or to inflict pain on his caregivers, yet how many times do we hear a pet owner or professional say a dog is being “stubborn” or “naughty?”

The organism is always correct, they are just functioning on the conditions available to them.” (Patel, 2019). Frightening or aversive environmental stimuli, including punitive pet training methods and scary techniques, are, more often than not, the cause of aggression from pets directed to people. But, states Patel (2019): “If you listen to the whispers, your dog has no reason to shout or scream.”

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