Written by Vicki Viall
The definition of cruelty is the deliberate, intentional infliction of pain or suffering. According to Dr. George Simon, PhD., there are three categories of cruelty. They are:
1. Unwitting abusers who, for whatever reason, truly do not understand that they are being abusive.
2. Immature abusers that intentionally do harm to animals but lack the mental faculties to understand that it is wrong to do so.
3. Those that know they are doing wrong but derive satisfaction from harming others. For them, it is all about power. These people often lack what they perceive as power is other areas of their life so they focus on those more vulnerable than themselves to inflict pain on.
The vast majority of society knows that cruelty, in any form, is not an acceptable behavior. They realize that abusing children, the elderly, the disabled or animals is clearly wrong and unacceptable behavior. And yet, cruelty is all around us.
Sadly, it is easy to become desensitized because of the sheer volume of abuse. Wolf Point sees more than its fair share of domestic abuse, child abuse and animal abuse. Even sadder, it is so prevalent that it has almost become acceptable behavior.
Many factors are at play behind the psychology of an abuser. They may have suffered abuse themselves. Alcohol. Drugs. Uncontrolled anger. Lack of behavior filters most people possess. Mental illness.
In a blog by Dresden Quincy Jones entitled Psychology of People Hurting Animals, she seeks to link the abuse of animals to escalating abuse. She cites such heinous killers as Jeffrey Dahmer, Alberto DeSalvo and Brenda Spencer.
All were prolific serial killers. All started their crime careers as children abusing animals. To read more of Jones’ article, the link is: https://suite101.com/a/psychology-of-people-hurting-animals-a125937.
Simon went so far as to say that if someone is abusing animals, “the chances are that they need psychological help.”
The Herald-News’ weekly police blotter is a road map of the domestic, child and alcohol/drug abuse issue happening in Wolf Point and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, animal abuse does not get reported. And it does happen in Wolf Point. Sadly, it happens far more than any would care to believe. And recently, it seems to be escalating both in severity and frequency.
In very early January, a dog was found in the vicinity of Cenex. Two kind souls called Wolf Point Pound Puppies who transported the poor dog to the vet for surgery. They thought he might have been in a fight with another dog. When the veterinarian examined the dog, it was found to be a stab wound.
Sadly, a couple of weeks ago another report of potential abuse was called in to Wolf Point Pound Puppies. A young German Shepherd appears to have been either hung up on a wire or rope or someone had tried to strangle or hang him.
A few months ago, a report of a dog found hanging on a fence near Oswego reached Wolf Point Pound Puppies. That animal was dead when it was found.
Another report was from Poplar of someone calling to report an animal scratching itself on their property and they wanted it removed. They didn’t want it treated; they wanted it put down. When someone went to collect the animal, they were told that person had taken the animal and dumped it somewhere. It was a small breed animal. Fortunately, most people are not that cruel and the dog was found and treated.
While all the incidents may not have been in town, they are not far away. And the increase suggests a disturbing trend.
Obviously, our neighbors and officials need training on animal cruelty, its penalties and the fact that it is actually a crime. Even more obvious is the fact that a person or persons are living in our area with, potentially, a serious mental issue that can escalate beyond abusing defenseless animals.
It seems to be a problem that is escalating. Someone out there may have seen or heard something. If so, report it to the police department or sheriff’s office. Do not allow this abuser escalate to abusing humans.
However, this most recent story has a happy ending. The shepherd, now named Akicita, will become the newest member of the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office. He will be partnered with deputy sheriff Joe Moore and they are already bonding. This victim has proven himself to be heroic in dealing with his injuries. Now, he will truly become a hero – serving and protecting the citizens of Roosevelt County.
Akicita had his stitches removed Monday, March 3. Dr. Robin Jordan was pleased with his recovery and the way his wound is healing.
The morale of this story is two-fold: if you see or know or hear of anyone abusing an animal, report it. And, secondly, within every victim is a potential hero.