Animal abuse statistical link to general criminality
Elisa has written some good stuff on the link of animal abuse to human abuse including domestic violence:
The police in the United States say that animal abuse is a better way of predicting whether someone will commit sexual assault than previous convictions for murder or arson (src: see spreadsheet below).
There is a clear and strong connection between animal abuse and abuse of family members and general criminality.
It seems that the criminal mind likes to abuse those that are physically weaker of more vulnerable than themselves.
I am sure things are being done to treat people who abuse animals rather than simply punishing them. Punishment should be severe for animal abuse. But as animal abuse is often a precursor to human abuse and criminality treatment (rehabilitation) as well are punishment (retribution) is in order.
Here is a startling set of statistics that show the correlation between the criminal mind and animal abuse: