Writing
Walden University Domestic Animal Abuse and Crime Dissertation

Walden University

Question Description

Help me study for my Law class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

ok the professor just sent my paper back, I don't understand why he keeps saying it wrong below is what he sent me:

Hi Barbie,


You are making good progress. I have included some feedback on your paper. This is your proposal, not your prospectus, so you will need to use the qualitative checklist (attached) and qualitative dissertation guide. Use the headings in the checklist (Abstract, Introduction, etc.) in your paper. I can help you with your interview questions. They need to be framed around your issue and deterrence theory.


Please send your draft back when it is corrected and includes all of the sections in the checklist. The guide can help you as well.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Running Head: DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS 1 Dissertation Prospectus Exploring the Reasons People Abuse Animals Barbie Bittinger Walden University DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS Problem statement Domestic animal abuse is a significant problem in the United States, however actual rates of abuse are unknown. The animal abuse problem is more prevalent than the what is reported as it is estimated that the vast majority of domestic animal abuse cases are never reported or detected (Humane Society, n.d.). Animal mistreatment and negligence is a national concern, and has also been found to be correlated with other violent crimes (cite). Brutality to animals is defined as administering bodily pain, grieving, or at some extreme point the death on an animal (Abubakar, Manzoor, & Iqbal, 2018). Due to the widespread prevalence of domestic animal abuse and correlation with other crimes, it is important to understand why people abuse animals and how can animal abuse be prevented and detected. There are various notions of how cruelty on animals starts (Arluke, 2017). One of them being abusers pre-established psychological state that consents them to begin mistreating animals and at some point, the situation might bring about the death of the animal (Sollund, 2017). Most of the cases are not detected, and many animal abusers tend to continue with the act thus the rising instances (Altschuler, 2017). The focus of this research will be on understanding why people abuse animals, and determining ways that animal abuse can be prevented and detected. Findings from this research could help to inform policy(s) at various levels that prevent and deter animal abuse. Purpose There are two primary purposes to this research. The first is to understand why people abuse animals. The second purpose is to determine ways that animal abuse can be prevented and detected. As mentioned previously, research shows that animal abuse is correlated with other violent crimes and it is estimated that a vast majority of animal abuse goes completely unreported (Humane Society, n.d.). This qualitative research study seeks to increase the DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS understanding of these two important points, increase the body of literature on this topic, and hopefully positively impact social change by informing policy(s) in this area. Significance This study will contribute to filling the gap on furthering the understanding of the reasons that people abuse animals, as well as better understanding how animal abuse can be prevented and detected. This study can make an original contribution by focusing on and reporting the knowledge of current field practitioners on these issues. This research can support professional practice and practical application by revealing the reasons that people abuse animals, and determining ways to prevent and detect animal abuse through the lived experiences of field practitioners and experts. As mentioned previously, animal abuse is a serious issue not only because of the defenceless animals involved, but also the fact that animal abuse is often correlated with other violent crimes. The research findings can lead to positive social change by sharing the insights of field practitioners and experts. Determining the reasons and circumstances in which people abuse animals is one of the first steps in proactively addressing this problem. Further, understanding how to increase prevention and detection is also an important step in reducing animal abuse. Background Earlier studies on this issue were carried out and similar findings provided by studies carried out by Arluke (2017), Sollund (2017) and Altschuler (2017). Common findings were presented and similar trends noted in the animal abuse globally. The conclusions of the study by Altschuler (2017) showed that most of the cases are not detected and many animal abusers tend to continue with the act thus the rising instances. In a different study carried out on the theme of animal abuse by Arluke (2017), a similar finding to the basis of animal abuse was provided, i.e., the abuser's pre-established psychological state that consents them to begin DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS mistreating animals and at some point, the situation might bring about the death of the animal. Some of the resources that provide detailed information on the earlier studies carried out by various teams on the issue of animal abuse are listed as follows: Arluke, A. (2017). Just a dog: Understanding animal cruelty and ourselves. Temple Altschuler, E. L. (2017). Animal-Assisted Therapy for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Lessons from "Case Reports" in Media Stories. Military medicine, 183(1-2), 11-13. Sollund, R. (2017). Causes for speciesism: Difference, distance, and denial. In Transnational Environmental Crime(pp. 75-96). Routledge.University Press. Theoretical Framework As observed from the statement of the problem, the incidences concerned with animal abuse, cruelty, mistreatment, and brutality are alarming. Theoretically, two theories will be used to inform the approach to this research. These theories are the routine activity theory and the deterrence theory. These theoretical frameworks will be used to inform the research that will answer the research questions of why people abuse animals and how animal abuse can be prevented and detected. The deterrence theory was developed from the work of Hobbes, Bentham, and Beccaria. The theory is made up of three fundamental components: Certainty, severity, and celebrity. It ascertains that the more severe a punishment is, the higher the probability that was rationally calculating individuals will desist from any given criminal act (Ascione & Ascione, 2010, p. 87). Based on this theoretical perspective, it alludes that if the animal abusers are given this sentencing objective based on the theory, it would ultimately discourage the people in conjunction with other animal offenders from committing animal brutality crimes. The DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS idea regarding the deterrence theory is that the objective for sentencing an offender is that ensure that there is a reduction of the crime through the example of punishment or threat to the population at large. There exist two divergent views regarding the deterrence theory: Specific deterrence and general deterrence. Specific deterrence is based on the assumption that in the case of animal abuse, the sentence is adjusted with a view of deterring the animal abuser before the court and convincing the accused not to re-abuse the animal once again. On the other hand, general deterrence refers to the act of inducing others who had an agenda of abusing animals not to do so. Since animal abuse as a crime is fairly common, then a general deterrence would work better to stop the act. In theory, the concept of denudation might be employed to curb the activity (Ascione & Ascione, 2010, p. 74). In general sense, denudation refers to the act of convincing the entire community or public that the offense in question is a typical true crime, a far much serious crime whereby respectable individuals will shun from and not technical, obsolete or minor. It informs every individual and reassures law-abiding that the relationship between animal abuse and punishment it is taken into account as logical and just. On the other hand, the routine activity theory coined in 1979 by Cohen and Felson calls for three elements to prevail before the occurrence of a crime. These elements must be prevalent before there is an occurrence of a crime: A target or suitable victim, a motivated offender having inherently criminal intentions in conjunction with the ability to act regarding these inclinations and the absence of a potential guardian who might prevent the happening of the crime. These fundamental elements must converge in time and space for a crime to occur. The theory provides a macro perspective on animal abuse in the sense that it provides insights on how the changes in economic and social conditions influence the overall animal brutality and victimization rate (Beirne, 2016, p. 87). Based on the theory it can be postulated that abusing animals as a crime is a “structurally significant phenomenon” which means that the DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS violations are neither trivial nor random events. Therefore, it can be assumed that people abuse animals since animals are there and that in the case animals would not have been present then this could not be happening. This study will be theoretically based on deterrence theory and routine activity theories. The theory of deterrence explains how punishment can discourage repetition of crime as observed in punitive behavior that results in cruelty against animals (Robert, Lebow & Stein, 1985). In exploring the motives of people abusing animals, this theory is useful in highlighting what behaviors relating to retaliation, control, prejudice and hostility in human beings influence animal abuse by the same people possessing those behaviors. On the other hand, application of routine activity theory explains in details how people select target animal victims to abuse, their motivation and the impact of the absence of animal rights champions in promoting continued crime of animal abuse (Cohen & Felson, 1979). In essence, the environment under which these crimes against animals occur will be put into perspective. The contribution of these theories in considerations of Arluke (2017) assertion, greatly informs the influencing activities, behaviors, and motives of inflicting pain, threatening, neglecting and even killing animals thereby facilitating the dissertation critical analysis and recommendations. A qualitative exploratory data of individuals and law enforcement agents on animal abuse presents a justifiable method of exploring the phenomena under this study with a slight focus on quantitative data. Research Questions RQ1-Qualitative: Why do people abuse animals? RQ2-Qualitative: How can incidents of animal abuse be detected? RQ3-Qualitative: How can animal abuse be prevented? Nature of the Study DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS This is a qualitative research study and aligns with answering the research questions which seek to understand some of the whys and hows regarding animal abuse. Use of qualitative method in collecting behavioral data is appropriate and yields accurate and reliable results (Wilson, 2018). Possible Types and Data Sources Individual interviews will be conducted with professionals from the veterinary field and law enforcement officers with specific experience dealing with cases of animal abuse. These individuals will have significant knowledge regarding animal abuse and can share their experiences to inform this research and answer the research questions. Data collection will be done using interview guides. Interview guides are appropriate in collecting qualitative data that aims at exploring and describing a situation the way it is according to Wilson (2018). Using in a semi-structured interview, the research questions will be covered in depth and opinions of the respondents will be captured during the process of data collection. Limitations, Challenges, Barriers Some of the limitations, challenges, and barriers that may need to be addressed during this study could include access to research participants. This student does know some people who work professionally in the veterinary field and some law enforcement officers as well. Any limitations, challenges, and/or barriers will be assessed, addressed ethically, and approached with best practices in research. CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction This study put into perspective the reasons as to why people abuse animals by carrying a detailed literature review. This chapter explored the existing knowledge of animal DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS brutality. This brutality is presented through administering bodily pain, grieving, or at some extreme point, the death of an animal and the influencing factors on human behavior that is behind this phenomenon. The section comprises of a theoretical framework explicitly reviewing deterrence theory and routine activity theory as an explanation of such action. These theories are relevant and crucial in elucidating the behavioural aspect explored by this study regarding people and animal abuse. Further, this study reviewed animal abuse motivations to elaborate on the statement of the problem. Additionally, empirical evidence from other studies for a better understanding of the issues presented in the study. A literature gap was established, therefore making a case justifying a more in-depth exploration of the topic. This chapter closes with a summary those points out the most significant sections. Most people who abuse animals don't do it on purpose. They hurt animals because they don't think about or realize what they are doing. Many of these people don't know that what they are doing is cruel. For example, some people don't realize what kinds of shelter different animals need. They may keep a dog in their yard with a doghouse that is on the ground and gets flooded with water when it rains, or they keep their dog on a short chain all of the time. Some people will try to keep their pet under control by using cruel types of discipline. They may think that punishment and intimidation are the best ways to solve problems. Other people are cruel because they don't pay attention. For example, someone might forget to give their cat water for a few days or leave their dog in a car on a hot day with the windows rolled up. Often these people know better, but they either forget or don't care enough to pay attention. Finally, some people hurt animals even though they think they're helping them. For example, some people have so many pets that they can't care for them all. These people are called hoarders, and they take in so many animals because they love them. Unfortunately, they can't care for all the animals they take in, and the animals end up living in a place that's cramped , dirty and unhealthy. Nearly all of these people can learn to understand that they are being cruel through DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS education and increasing their awareness of the needs of our animal neighbors. Since most of the people who abuse animals make up this group, this means that most of the people who abuse animals can be helped with basic education. The next biggest group of animal abusers does it on purpose, but don't keep doing it for a long period of time. For example, a group of kids may decide to throw rocks at a nest of baby birds they happened to see, or they may hurt a stray cat in their neighborhood. These people are usually young, and they hurt animals because they aren't thinking, or because they can't stand up to their friends and peer pressure. The ones who are aren't really thinking might be mad at someone else (like their parents) and kick their pet dog because they can't kick their parents. Or they may think it's fun to watch an animal run away scared, without really thinking about how the animal feels. The ones who are giving in to peer pressure might be trying to show off to their friends. Or they may be with a group of friends who are all trying to impress each other, and so they go along with what everyone else is doing. Intentionally hurting animals for any reason is serious. In most states, those caught doing this will face harsher punishment than those who hurt animals unintentionally. However, these people usually don't hurt animals more than a few times. They learn to think about how others feel, and they learn to stand up for themselves. This group can be helped through education and support, too. The last group of people who hurt animals are the worst. These are people who intentionally hurt animals because they enjoy hurting things, or because it makes them feel powerful. Many of these people would hurt other people if they could get away with it. They just choose to hurt animals because animals are more helpless than people. Why do these people hurt animals? There are different reasons. A lot of these people want to have control over others. They will hurt an animal because they think this means they control the animal. Or they may hurt the animal to control another person. For example, a husband might hurt the DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS family's pet to show his wife what he could do to her if she doesn't obey his commands. Someone else might make his dog kill other dogs because he thinks that makes him powerful. Others simply enjoy pain and violence. Those who enjoy violence might also destroy inanimate objects as well as animals and people. All of the people in this last group suffer from serious, psychological problems that will probably not go away on their own. They often need the help of licensed professionals—like a psychologist. We are not 100% sure why people become like this—most are probably born with their problems, but others can get their problems from brain damage, poisonous environments, or by being treated badly themselves. Without help, the psychological problems these people have can haunt them for their whole lives. If you know anyone who you think may be like this, don't approach them yourself. Talk to a trusted adult, and let the adult find someone to help these people. What You Can Do to Help Stop Animal Cruelty Have you ever seen someone hurting an animal and felt like you couldn't do anything to stop it? Well, read on—there are important ways that you can speak up. Alleged link to human violence and psychological disorders. There are studies providing evidence of a link between animal cruelty and violence towards humans. A 2009 study found that slaughterhouse employment increases total arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, arrests for rape, and arrests for other sex offenses in comparison with other industries. A history of torturing pets and small animals, a behavior known as zoosadism, is considered one of the signs of certain psychopathologies, including antisocial personality disorder, also known as psychopathic personality disorder. According to The New York Times, "[t]he FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appears in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders. A survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured dogs and cats found all of them had high levels of aggression toward people as well, including one patient DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS who had murdered a young boy. Robert K. Ressler, an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's behavioral sciences unit, studied serial killers and noted, "Murderers like this very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids. Acts of intentional animal cruelty or non-accidental injury may be indicators of serious psychological problems. According to the American Humane Association, 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence. As many as 71% of pet-owning women seeking shelter at safe houses have reported that their partner had threatened and/or hurt or killed one or more of their pets; 32% of these women reported that one or more of their children had also hurt or killed pets. Battered women report that they are prevented from leaving their abusers because they fear what will happen to the animals in their absence. Animal abuse is sometimes used as a form of intimidation in domestic disputes. Cruelty to animals is one of the three components of the Macdonald triad, behavior considered to be one of the signs of violent antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. According to the studies used to form this model, cruelty to animals is a common (but not universal) behavior in children and adolescents who grow up to become serial killers and other violent criminals. It has als ...
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Running head: DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

Dissertation Prospectus
Exploring the Reasons People Abuse Animals
Barbie Bittinger
Walden University

1

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

2
Abstract

Domestic animal abuse is a significant problem in the United States. However, actual rates of
abuse are unknown. The animal abuse problem is more prevalent than what is reported as it is
estimated that the vast majority of domestic animal abuse cases are never reported or detected.
Since most of the cases are not detected, and many animal abusers tend to continue with the act
there is an alarming rise in instances which is endangering the animal existence. The focus of
this research will be on understanding why people abuse animals, and determining ways that
animal abuse can be prevented and detected. The study will utilize theoretical assertions of two
theories. The two theories will be used to inform the approach to this research by elucidating the
psychological and behavioral motivators to inflict pain on others. These theories are the routine
activity theory and the deterrence theory. Additionally, the theoretical frameworks will be used
in answering the research questions of why people abuse animals and how animal abuse can be
prevented and detected. The researcher will adopt a qualitative methodology approach in data
collection, analysis and presentation. This methodology is supported by the chosen interpretivist
qualitative paradigm as it is appropriate in understanding a case from the exploratory approach,
as well the descriptive survey research design. Besides, the interviews questions will be in
tandem with research questions. A key aspect of this study is integrating the researcher in the
research process. As such, the role of the investigator will be observational and participatory.
The study will also collect the qualitative information needed to make conclusions from a sample
of 12 respondents from different groups working with animals’ welfare such as vets and
protection workers. The sample will be drawn from the population purposively. The data will be
collected in open-ended questions and recorded for transcript, analysis and presentation. This
study will observe ethical concerns of respondents by keeping their data private and confidential
as well as allowing them to respond anonymously to protect their identities. Finally, the results
will be presented in form of tables, figures, and charts in a generalized, comparable and
summarized form that will help in making conclusions and recommendations.

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

3

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
Exploring the reasons people abuse animals is a step towards saving them. Animals are
crucial companions of human beings. These creatures are not only a source of social benefits to
people but they are economic strength of their masters. It is therefore a mutually beneficial
relationship that is observed between humans and animals. This relationship is sometimes
threatened by cruelty of one party or the other and retaliations too. Understanding animals are
integral social-ecological parts that require protection for a balanced nature and life can help
people treat the animals in a more dignified manner than they usually do.
As such, humans play a crucial role in ensuring the environmental protection which
includes protecting animals. Incidentally, humans are also on forefront to cause damage to the
very nature including mistreating animals. While animals, especially domestic ones rely for
protection from their masters, it is common for the humans to become a nightmare to the lives of
these animals. Animals may be abused physically or emotionally endangering their existence and
the environment at large. Yet, people expect the animals to behave better and offer social
companionship or economic befits to them. On the other hand, the nature including the animals
abused may decide to retaliate to the actions of the humans on them.
The aim of this study is to explore the reasons why people abuse animals and highlight
ways of detecting and preventing these acts. This goal will be achieved by systematically
studying the relationship between animals and humans. This section covers the introduction and
a further detailed background of this area of interest. Additionally, this section will elucidate the
underlying statement of problem in details to persuade the relevance and significance of this

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

4

topic. More so, this section will explain the purpose of this study with a clear justification to its
undertaking by the researcher. Finally, this chapter will address the research questions which are
critical in goal setting and investigation variables identification.

Background of the study
Earlier studies on this issue were carried out and similar findings provided by studies
carried out by Arluke (2017), Sollund (2017) and Altschuler (2017). Common findings were
presented and similar trends noted in the animal abuse globally. The conclusions of the study by
Altschuler (2017) showed that most of the cases are not detected and many animal abusers tend
to continue with the act thus the rising instances. In a different study carried out on the theme of
animal abuse by Arluke (2017), a similar finding to the basis of animal abuse was provided, i.e.,
the abuser's pre-established psychological state that consents them to begin mistreating animals
and at some point, the situation might bring about the death of the animal. Some of the resources
that provide detailed information on the earlier studies carried out by various teams on the issue
of animal abuse include Arluke (2017), Altschuler (2017), and Sollund (2017), all who
investigated various aspects of animal cruelty and abuse.
From the review of these and similar studies, there are mixed results that have been
produced. Again, most of the existing literature materials do not give details of the reasons
individual abuse animals although they identify most of the abused animals. Incidentally, there
are few studies that have focused on detection of animal abusers. The knowledge around the
detection subject remains scanty in the existing literature. Particularly, in this country, there are
few studies that have been done on this part. Another gap that exists in the study of animal abuse
is the research on prevention of these acts to minimize the cases of animal cruelty in the country.

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

5

Considering this study aims to understand the reasons for abuse, how to detect, and prevent these
cases, this study envisions to fill a gap of knowledge in this area of study by addressing the issue
comprehensively as well as suggesting ways of reducing these crimes, which many researchers
failed to address in the previous studies.
Problem statement
Domestic animal abuse is a significant problem in the United States. However, actual
rates of abuse are unknown. The animal abuse problem is more prevalent than what is reported
as it is estimated that the vast majority of domestic animal abuse cases are never reported or
detected (Humane Society, n.d.). Animal mistreatment and negligence is a national concern, and
has also been found to be correlated with other violent crimes (Arluke, 2017). Brutality to
animals is defined as administering bodily pain, grieving, or at some extreme point the death on
an animal (Abubakar, Manzoor, & Iqbal, 2018). Due to the widespread prevalence of domestic
animal abuse and correlation with other crimes, it is important to understand why people abuse
animals and how can animal abuse be prevented and detected.
There are various notions of how cruelty on animals starts (Arluke, 2017). One of them
being abusers pre-established psychological state that consents them to begin mistreating animals
and at some point, the situation might bring about the death of the animal (Sollund, 2017). Most
of the cases are not detected, and many animal abusers tend to continue with the act thus the
rising instances (Altschuler, 2017). The focus of this research will be on understanding why
people abuse animals, and determining ways that animal abuse can be prevented and detected.
Findings from this research could help to inform policy(s) at various levels that prevent and deter
animal abuse.

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

6

From the review of these and similar studies, there are mixed results that have been
produced. Again, most of the existing literature materials do not give details of the reasons
individual abuse animals although they identify most of the abused animals. Incidentally, there
are few studies that have focused on detection of animal abusers. The knowledge around the
detection subject remains scanty in the existing literature. Particularly, in this country, there are
few studies that have been done on this part. Another gap that exists in the study of animal abuse
is the research on prevention of these acts to minimize the cases of animal cruelty in the country.
Considering this study aims to understand the reasons for abuse, how to detect, and prevent these
cases, this study envisions to fill a gap of knowledge in this area of study by addressing the issue
comprehensively as well as suggesting ways of reducing these crimes, which many researchers
failed to address in the previous studies.
Purpose
There are two primary purposes to this research. The first is to understand why people
abuse animals. The second purpose is to determine ways that animal abuse can be prevented and
detected. As mentioned previously, research shows that animal abuse is correlated with other
violent crimes and it is estimated that a vast majority of animal abuse goes completely
unreported (Humane Society, n.d.). This qualitative research study seeks to increase the
understanding of these two important points, increase the body of literature on this topic, and
hopefully positively impact social change by informing policy(s) in this area.
Research Questions
RQ1-Qualitative: Why do people abuse animals?
RQ2-Qualitative: How can incidents of animal abuse be detected?
RQ3-Qualitative: How can animal abuse be prevented?

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

7

Theoretical Framework
As observed from the statement of the problem, the incidences concerned with animal
abuse, cruelty, mistreatment, and brutality are alarming. Theoretically, two theories will be used
to inform the approach to this research. These theories are the routine activity theory and the
deterrence theory. These theoretical frameworks will be used to inform the research that will
answer the research questions of why people abuse animals and how animal abuse can be
prevented and detected.
The deterrence theory was developed from the work of Hobbes, Bentham, and Beccaria.
The theory is made up of three fundamental components: Certainty, severity, and celebrity. It
ascertains that the more severe a punishment is, the higher the probability that was rationally
calculating individuals will desist from any given criminal act (Ascione & Ascione, 2010, p. 87).
Based on this theoretical perspective, it alludes that if the animal abusers are given this
sentencing objective based on the theory, it would ultimately discourage the people in
conjunction with other animal offenders from committing animal brutality crimes. The idea
regarding the deterrence theory is that the objective for sentencing an offender is that ensure that
there is a reduction of the crime through the example of punishment or threat to the population at
large.
There exist two divergent views regarding the deterrence theory: Specific deterrence and
general deterrence. Specific deterrence is based on the assumption that in the case of animal
abuse, the sentence is adjusted with a view of deterring the animal abuser before the court and
convincing the accused not to re-abuse the animal once again. On the other hand, general

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

8

deterrence refers to the act of inducing others who had an agenda of abusing animals not to do
so. Since animal abuse as a crime is fairly common, then a general deterrence would work better
to stop the act. In theory, the concept of denudation might be employed to curb the activity
(Ascione & Ascione, 2010, p. 74). In general sense, denudation refers to the act of convincing
the entire community or public that the offense in question is a typical true crime, a far much
serious crime whereby respectable individuals will shun from and not technical, obsolete or
minor. It informs every individual and reassures law-abiding that the relationship between
animal abuse and punishment it is taken into account as logical and just.
On the other hand, the routine activity theory coined in 1979 by Cohen and Felson calls
for three elements to prevail before the occurrence of a crime. These elements must be prevalent
before there is an occurrence of a crime: A target or suitable victim, a motivated offender having
inherently criminal intentions in conjunction with the ability to act regarding these inclinations
and the absence of a potential guardian who might prevent the happening of the crime. These
fundamental elements must converge in time and space for a crime to occur. The theory provides
a macro perspective on animal abuse in the sense that it provides insights on how the changes in
economic and social conditions influence the overall animal brutality and victimization rate
(Beirne, 2016, p. 87). Based on the theory it can be postulated that abusing animals as a crime is
a “structurally significant phenomenon” which means that the violations are neither trivial nor
random events. Therefore, it can be assumed that people abuse animals since animals are there
and that in the case animals would not have been present then this could not be happening.
This study will be theoretically based on deterrence theory and routine activity theories.
The theory of deterrence explains how punishment can discourage repetition of crime as
observed in punitive behavior that results in cruelty against animals (Robert, Lebow & Stein,

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

9

1985). In exploring the motives of people abusing animals, this theory is useful in highlighting
what behaviors relating to retaliation, control, prejudice and hostility in human beings influence
animal abuse by the same people possessing those behaviors. On the other hand, application of
routine activity theory explains in details how people select target animal victims to abuse, their
motivation and the impact of the absence of animal rights champions in promoting continued
crime of animal abuse (Cohen & Felson, 1979). In essence, the environ...

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