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Animal Cruelty And Domestic Violence Essay

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Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence: Intersections of Abuse

Animals are an important and valued part of many families and cultures. In many households, animals are considered members of the family, receive Christmas and birthday presents, and are cared for just as a human child would be. Opposition to animal cruelty has even become a sort of universal value in American culture(Kordzek 604). But animals are uniquely vulnerable to abuse, and despite this they still do not receive much needed protection from the law. The penalties for animal cruelty are not frequently severe enough to even deter one from harming an animal. This is dangerous not only for animals, but for human beings too. Animal cruelty and domestic violence have been proven to correlate in countless ways, and recognizing animal cruelty as a serious criminal offense and a form of domestic violence would serve to protect both animals and human beings from needless acts of violence. Instituting stiffer criminal penalties for animal cruelty and increasing the protective measures for victims of abuse is necessary to further the protection of both animals and human beings.
1 While the act of needlessly brutalizing an animal is considered reprehensible by most, the penalties for animal cruelty say otherwise. Typically classified as a low-level offense or a misdemeanor, punishments for abusing animals are not frequently very severe. A misdemeanor offense can be punishable by
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