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Article

Animal Cruelty and Neighborhood Conditions

1
Urban and Regional Planning and Political Science, Michigan State University, 517-353-5942, Human Ecology Building 552W, Circle Drive, Room 208A, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2
Lucid Spaces, 200 N, Grand Ave, Lansing, MI 48933, USA
3
Oregon Commission for the Blind, 535 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112095
Received: 26 October 2020 / Accepted: 30 October 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Animal Welfare Policies and Practices)
Animal cruelty appears to be widespread. Competing theories have been posed regarding the causes of animal cruelty leading to conflicting findings and little direction for public policies to combat it. Using data from police department reports of animal cruelty in the City of Detroit from 2007 to 2015 this project assesses competing theories of the causes of animal cruelty. The findings suggest that deviance and social disorganization theories best account for animal cruelty. Neighborhood conditions in terms of economic stress, vacancy and blight, and crime appear to have the greatest impact on animal cruelty in this urban area.
Background: Animal cruelty appears to be widespread. Competing theories have been posed regarding the causes of animal cruelty leading to conflicting findings and little direction for public policies to combat it. Objective: To assess the applicability of extant theories of the causes of animal cruelty: domestic violence; deviance; perpetrator traits; and social disorganization. Methods: Data are drawn from police department reports of animal cruelty in the City of Detroit from 2007 to 2015; 302 incidences of animal cruelty were reported. Multiple regression is used to determine the theory which best appears to account for animal cruelty. Results: Common types of animal cruelty in Detroit are shooting; blunt force trauma; neglect; and dogfighting. While most incidents involve unknown persons; cruelty by owners; neighbors; and domestic partners is also common. Neighborhood conditions in terms of economic stress; vacancy and blight; and crime appear to have the greatest impact on animal cruelty. Conclusions: The findings from Detroit support deviance and social disorganization theories of animal cruelty. Neighborhood conditions in terms of economic stress, vacancy and blight, and crime appear to have the greatest impact on animal cruelty in this urban area. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal cruelty; neighborhood disorganization; theories of animal cruelty animal cruelty; neighborhood disorganization; theories of animal cruelty
MDPI and ACS Style

Reese, L.A.; Vertalka, J.J.; Richard, C. Animal Cruelty and Neighborhood Conditions. Animals 2020, 10, 2095. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112095

AMA Style

Reese LA, Vertalka JJ, Richard C. Animal Cruelty and Neighborhood Conditions. Animals. 2020; 10(11):2095. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112095

Chicago/Turabian Style

Reese, Laura A., Joshua J. Vertalka, and Cassie Richard. 2020. "Animal Cruelty and Neighborhood Conditions" Animals 10, no. 11: 2095. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112095

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