Conduct Disorder Leads to Animal Cruelty

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

After reading what felt like the 20th animal cruelty case making the news today, I decided to do some research. My dear readers, you’re going to need a punching bag after reading this one. This story is extremely important so I’m telling it.

The case that fired me up was this one. If you want to be in a bad mood for days, feel free to read it. This is about a 10 year old girl from Ohio who drowned a Chihuahua dog. The dog was revived and died a few days later.

I get so tired of these cases. The child needs help (preferably before she graduates to serial killer). I really don’t know who to be furious at here-but I’m steaming mad at someone and have been for two days now. Because chances are this girl will receive little or no help, her “criminal record” will be concealed because she’s a minor and one day about ten years down the road we’ll see her name in the arrest records for assault or murder.

Graphic Photo of a Shar Pei Dog Rescued, after being abused by having his tail cut off, please help to save him ... if you can

Above: read the story behind this photo on Flickr (click on the photo – opens new window/tab). The person who did this needed treatment..

I started thinking-what if we can head this off. I did a lot of research on serial killers on Kids Killing Cats. Let’s consider this the sequel. Can we determine thru a mental exam which children will turn into those arrested for animal cruelty tomorrow and serial killers once they reach adulthood? The answer is surprisingly “yes.” If we watch for the signs and do something about it before it’s too late.

I’m talking about CONDUCT DISORDER. This disorder affects 2%-16% of 9-17 year olds link to source. It affects more boys than girls and is more common in cities than in rural areas.

Conduct disorder covers a large spectrum of emotional and behavioral problems. Many times the children are simply labeled as “bad” because they have a hard time following the rules or acting in an appropriate way in public. Many parents of such children don’t realize it’s a mental health disorder and highly treatable. Especially if caught early.

While there is no exact medication to treat the condition, many drugs used to treat other conditions have been shown to bring the condition under control. It can be treated with neurotransmitter medications. Many of these children also have ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), learning disorders, depression and/or anxiety disorders. It can also be treated with psychotherapy by a qualified therapist. One therapy showing a good success rate is anger management along with cognitive therapy.

A good site for more on the subject and the many ways parents are helping each other handle these children can be found at: Conduct Disorders. They offer tips and suggestions all parents can learn and share with others. Sometimes it helps to feel you’re not dealing with this alone.

Conduct disorder is different than just going thru a “bad kid spell” as all children seem to do. It becomes a disorder when it is long lasting (typically six months or longer), disrupts the child’s life or the life of the family, and infringes on the rights of individuals.

Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for in children.

  • Aggressive behavior that harms or threatens other people or animals;
  • Destructive behavior that damages or destroys property;
  • Lying or theft;
  • Truancy or other serious violations of rules;
  • Early tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse;
  • Precocious sexual activity.

Some other common signs are irritability, low self-esteem and the ability to throw temper tantrums on the spur of the moment. Children with this disorder cannot be told to stop because their actions are hurting others. They don’t care if what they’re doing is unacceptable to society. The disorder prevents them from caring about others. In other words, these children have sociopathic tendencies that if left untreated will only get worse. Most children start out with sociopathic behavior and quickly outgrow it. Part of a toddlers vocabulary is “mine.” That’s normal if the child is two. At ten it’s a problem and a warning. Those with the disorder don’t outgrow it. They get worse source link.

Here are some of the causes and a brief description.

Biology: Birth defects or injuries to the brain are some of the causes. Many also have a close family member with a mental illness. The argument for a long time has been that children who watch animal cruelty go on to become animal abusers themselves. Genetics may play more of a part than originally thought. If animal abusers have children who abuse pets and it’s partly genetic, we’re all in trouble. Studies show that parents of conduct disorder children have a higher than normal rate of mental illness.

Environment: A dysfunctional family life and inconsistent discipline contribute to the problem. Parents need to decide the punishment for different rules being broken and follow through. It’s not good to bail out a child every time he/she get’s into trouble. Children need to face their punishment in order to become good citizens. Parents need to teach children certain actions are NOT okay. Letting a child get away with bad behavior is one of the common regrets of parents with children who became killers.

Society: The child may not be accepted by peers and this also worsens the condition. This is usually caused by the way the child treats his peers and should be a major warning sign to parents.

CAUSES

  • Early maternal rejection;
  • Separation from parents, without an adequate alternative caregiver;
  • Early institutionalization;
  • Family neglect;
  • Abuse or violence;
  • Parental mental illness;
  • Parental marital discord;
  • Crowding; and
  • Poverty.

The stigma associated with having this type of behavior by a child is enough to prevent treatment to the many children who need it. Parents don’t want to admit their “angel” falls into this category. Sometimes it’s up to the teachers and counselor’s at school to identify and seek a diagnosis so the child can get help. Failure to treat can lead to school problems such as dropping out and failing. These can later turn into legal problems for the parents when the child attacks another child. Worst case scenario is the increased chance of drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and suicide as these rates are higher for teens with conduct disorder.

This is everyone’s problem. I’m sorry I have no ideas on how to approach a family whose child fits this description. I dealt with it in my hometown and the police basically turned a blind eye to animal to rture. They even threatened to lock me up if I called them back. Apparently blowing up small animals with firecrackers didn’t merit a visit. Usually when the Humane Society is called in the police also come because it could be a dog bite call. I don’t know how animal cruelty committed by children is dealt with elsewhere. I’m almost afraid to hear the feedback on that issue.

I can research and I can write and give my readers the ammunition to take to their leaders to strengthen animal cruelty laws. Unfortunately the children will probably fall thru the cracks. My opinion (oh I love this part) is enough is enough. This has to stop. I just don’t know how to stop it except for my writing and telling my readers this is happening and it’s happening everywhere.

I can warn my readers to keep their animals safe and a close eye on the neighborhood kids. In today’s sad society there’s probably an abuser among them. I want everyone to forward this article to anyone with kids and anyone who loves animals. Hopefully it will get into the right hands and this madness will stop.

Related topics:

Cat Abuse

Pictures of Animal Abuse

Elisa
Source:

http://www.momlogic.com/2009/06/when_kids_torture_animals.php
http://www.momlogic.com/2008/10/sociopath_casey_anthony_caylee.php?page=3

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Conduct Disorder Leads to Animal Cruelty

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Dec 14, 2010
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Kids with Conduct Disorders Become Adults
by: Cindy

It starts early in childhood. It gets worse. Families won’t talk about it, there’s a never ending stream of animal and human victims – including the parents’ belongings(please don’t blame the parents for their children’s choices. Then it gets worse. These kids grow up and no one does anything, what can we really do?
Thank-you for showing us.


Oct 02, 2010
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Animal Lover
by: Anonymous

I dont think that I want to know where you are from because it angers me that nothing is being done with your animal cruelty cases. I have been a police officer for six years where I live and although we could use a better animal control unit, I have taken hunders of animals, mostly pits away from their owners, and charged all of them that I could. I am now waiting to go to Superior Courth this month on two people I charged. It is disgusting and sad to see people do this. I am getting my masters now in Forensic Psychology and Conduct Disorder is one of the things I am doing a paper on. That is how I came across your site. I am glad I did. Thanks for doing it.


Aug 16, 2010
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Know Your Neighbors!
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

Make sure you read that one Kathy. No one has commented on it yet.


Aug 16, 2010
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same senario
by: kathy

I worked for a handicapped man(physically handicapped) who loved animals. He had a mentally disturbed step son. When he and his wife seperated he was stressed out about her cats whom were left in her care. One day he was very upset and told me the boy had gotten angry about something took one of the cats to the basement and suffocated it. They had the boy admitted to what i dont know. I too was very upset. I too have what people consider some mental disorders. I take medication,and go to counseling. I love my animals and all animals. Children should be supervised with all animals, whether well or not. You can never know what goes on in another persons mind, child or adult.


Aug 10, 2010
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Tomorrows story
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

This is what the new story is on Merrily. I want you to make a long comment on it. I’m about to submit it. I’m so sorry for you. Read what I wrote about the WONDERFUL police in my hometown. Glad I moved.


Aug 10, 2010
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And Another One Dies
by: Merrily

Last night I watched as my new neighbor…..yes the one whose puppy died the day after he brought him home. I watched him walking a new dog last night, They went into his house, and I hoped this one would be different, that this dog would be safe.
At 2:00 AM I heard the dog screaming inside the house as though he was being beaten, I could no longer sleep, and as soon as it became light I went out looking for the Red Boys to give them their breakfast, and there was the dog…. lying in front of his house, dead.
I called the Sheriff, who was no help at all, I guess killing your own pets is not a problem here.
Upon talking to his landlord today I discovered that the young man is on disability because of Mental issues.
I wonder how many animals will have to die before someone does something about this young man….or will he progress to larger prey?


Aug 10, 2010
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Disturbing reading
by: Leah

Poor Cezar I’ve donated; anyone that could do that should feel the same pain and anguish. Very very sad.

Elisa I agree with every word you’ve written. Here in the UK we have the same sort of people. The issue here is that this is now sweeping through generations. With the split of the traditional family unit incorporating a father figure there is no discipline. Adding to that is our governments liberal attitude to children having children.

Have a child in the UK and you automatically get £500. You also get a house FOC. Easy. Have a few more kids by different fathers. Some moms have no clue who the father is. Kids grow up; sweeps through generations their kids do the same so before we know it what with ‘who’s the daddy?’ and small communities we have unwitting incest which in turn can obviously result in mental illness.

Throw in some poverty and kids with no one to aspire to and you have a huge social problem, rising crime etc.

And who’s to blame? yup government.


Aug 06, 2010
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Merrily and Mina
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

You are so right about being able to recognize these people once being around them. And they can act completely normal when they have to.

I’d get a good alarm if I were you. You may not believe it but I have bars on my windows. There was a burglar several years back that broke in before I moved in and I had the bars installed. Also have keyed locks for the door plus a wooden cross bar.

I’m so glad everyone has commented positively on my story. And to Mina, welcome to the site. I was afraid I’d get cussed out by the parents of children with this disorder. Some people don’t want to admit their children could have a problem. Which is stupid. If they were diabetic they’d seek treatment. I’m old enough to remember when mental health history was on job applications.

I’ll look around for another story tomorrow or Saturday. When the story needs to be told I’ll be led to it.


Aug 05, 2010
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DONATE
by: Anonymous

your articles are just so great! I just read Cezar’s story and donated I just cannot believe neighbors had already seen this dog around and done absolutely nothing about it.
I will never stop saying how shameful some of us can be as a human race. Then again there are the beautiful people like you.
Keep writing lady!

Mina
xx


Aug 05, 2010
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DONATE
by: Anonymous

your articles are just so great! I just read Cezar’s story and donated I just cannot believe neighbors had already seen this dog around and done absolutely nothing about it.
I will never stop saying how shameful some of us can be as a human race. Then again there are the beautiful people like you.
Keep writing lady!

Mina
xx


Aug 05, 2010
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Broken Children
by: Merrily

Reading this story this morning brought a flood of emotions…..I know about this disorder first hand. Years ago I met a woman,and we became friends of sorts, I came to know her family, this is their story.
There were six children, one a boy six years old died of cancer.
Of the others, the woman had been a promiscious teenager, and had a child, but never married. She was addicted to alcohol, cocaine, and became a prostitute in her younger years, landing her in a federal prision. She died a year ago at the age of 56. Her oldest brother also had problems with alcohol, and was a child molestor, the next brother became an attorney, an soon was disbarred because he was comingiling his clients money. The two youngest brothers now in their sixties have lived as hermits in a shack with no utilities for over 30 years. The youngest had developmental problems, and suffers from OCD. He wears gloves so the FBI cannot find him by his fingerprints, and suffers from paranoia.
The common thread? These children were raised in squalor, neglected by their mother who slept all day because she suffered from mental illness.
They as well as their children, there are three among them, are all animal abusers of the worst kind all having killed many of their own and others pets. They all suffer from depression, and all through their stories of their childhood obviously started with Conduct Disorder.
Yes this story opened a floodgate of emotions this morning, once you have known people like this your life is forever changed.
This past week a young man moved into a little house across the street. I heard him screaming at two of my feral friends ,the Red Boys, so I immediately went over to introduce myself and to tell him the cats had lived in what was now his yard for many years, hoping that he would accept them. He was very very sweet, almost too much so, and said he loved cats, and would welcome them.
The next day I heard him once again screaming at the cats, and it raised a red flag. He brought home a 16 week old puppy, and the next day asked if I would like to have him, because he would like to have my cat that he sees sitting in my window. The following day the puppy was dead, and yesterday he came home with another.
Once you know these people you can recognise them within minutes of meeting them.
They are broken, and they are dangerous. I now fear that he and his unsavory friends might break into my home and steal my cats while I am away, so I must find another home soon.
If a child harms or kills animals, he is a sociopath in the making, never, never think otherwise.


Aug 05, 2010
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Right On!
by: Dee in Fl

It’s about time someone started speaking out about this problem! We tend to want to sweep these behaviors under the carpet or figure let somebody else worry about it! But unfortunately the trend is growing nationwide!……Think about it seriously people!!!! After all the ever unforgetable Jeffrey Dahlmer started with cats!!!!!!! That should shake some brains!!!!!


Aug 05, 2010
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BAD KIDS!!!
by: PAULA

ELISA, MY GOSH THIS CHILD HAS MAJOR PROBLEMS!! LETS HOPE IT WILL NOT GET SWEPT UNDER A RUG. BECAUSE SOOOO MANY KIDS THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW!!! I WILL LOOK AT THE OTHER STORIES ABOUT THE DOGS TAIL WAS KIND OF AFRAID !!! BUT YOU CAN NOT HIDE FROM THIS OR IT WILL NEVER STOP!!! THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE VOICE:) 🙂


Aug 05, 2010
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Not Trying to Anger Anyone
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

Not trying to make parents of these children mad at me. Just want to present the facts by the experts and hopefully stop a problem before it starts. A lot of people don’t realize how serious this disorder is.



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