Psychologists Explain Possible Animal Abuse Motives

More Video...

Animal cruelty classifies as neglect, abandonment, hoarding, kicking, burning, shooting or drowning an animal, according to

Psychologists said someone snaps after building anger.

NewsChannel 7 decided to find out what motivates someone to abuse an animal, since cases like these have been all too common lately.

Your first question may be simple, 'Why would anyone abuse an animal?'

Psychologists said the answer is complicated.

"They feel powerful when they see that dog whimpering or crying and trying to get help," Lee Shipway, Co-Executive Director of Peaceful Solutions Counseling, said. "They see that as funny. They see that as, 'I have the upper hand, and I have your life.' There is no greater powerful feeling than that."

"I do think it has to do with abuse or modeling or that there's something definitely psychologically wrong," Lonsdorf said.

Barbara Lonsdorf, of the Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau, said we react to these cases because animals have no way of defending themselves.

"That notion in all of us rises to an outrage because of the fact that they are just innocent bystanders," Lonsdorf said.

Both psychologists said animal abuse stems from an abuser's earlier years.

"A lot of those people were horribly abused as children," Shipway said. "It changes brain chemistry and the outlook on life. It's very different than people raised in nice, warm, nurturing household."

Lonsdorf said families need to set good examples so it does not happen in the first place.

"If we see children misusing an animal, we need to go to them say, 'please be kind to this animal.'"

Both psychologists said the best way to prevent any kind of abuse is to speak up, no matter if it's your neighbor or someone you don't know.

They also said hoarding also links to animal abuse.

So, if you know someone who cares for more animals than they can afford to nourish, you may want to report it, too.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to
Please provide detailed information.
All comments must adhere to the discussion rules.

powered by Disqus
WSAW-TV 1114 Grand Ave. Wausau, WI 54403
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 242325021 -
Gray Television, Inc.