"The Link":"As a society, we want to do what we can to stop animal cruelty. Why? The reasons vary from wanting to protect the animals for their own sake to wanting to protect society from future acts of violence.... we do know that animal cruelty is often considered to be the beginnings of violent or abhorrent behavior."
Randall Lockwood, Ph.d. CAAB, is currently with the ASPCA, in the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Initiatives and Training division. Dr. Lockwood was the force behind the Humane Society of the United States program, First Strike. While with HSUS, he along with the FBI, released a study entitled "The Tangled Web of Abuse" . The study "...details evidence that those who abuse animals, especially those who begin at an early age, will go on to abuse people. Indeed, Jeffrey Dahmer, Kip Kinkel and the Columbine High School killers (and many more) all had a history of animal abuse.... The principals behind the First Strike program warn us that cruelty has interchangeable victims _---- whether it's animals, children, or adults abused in a domestic setting."
Educating teachers and school administrators to these facts/issues can help them know what to look for in school children and possibly intervene on the child's behalf. This won't be a guarantee that the intervention will help but it can be a valuable tool to help teachers and administrators deal with situations that may arise. The Link obviously is also very important to law enforcement officers, prosecutors, social workers, animal control agencies and other members of the community.
Read American Humane's informative article on their work on "the Link":