This is one of those stories that will make you shake your head in disbelief and test your level of empathy for others. Two 11-year-old boys in Las Vegas, are on house arrest after being charged with seven counts of animal cruelty. Their confinement includes a GPS to monitor their every move until their next court hearing. The boys are accused of throwing rocks at a cat as she gave birth and stoning to death each of her six newborn kittens.
Judge William Voy, who presided over the boy’s first court appearance, reported that in the nine years he has served on the bench, “he has never seen something like this.”
The boys, whose identities are not being released due to their age, were booked into the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center after an extensive investigation was completed by both the police and animal control.
The crime was reported at the apartment complex where the boys live when residents started to wonder why the kids were throwing stones against a building. Investigators later determined the boys were stoning a mother cat while she was giving birth and continued to throw rocks at each of her kittens as they were born.
The kittens were rushed to a local veterinary hospital by animal control officers. By that time, the mother cat had run off and there is no news about her health.
“A total of six came to us,” said Haven Animal Hospital Vet Technician Patrick Harp. “Two of them were actually deceased on arrival. Another one we had to put down shortly after it got here.”ť Later the remaining kittens died of their injuries.
In court, attorneys for the two boys did not admit any fault and pointed to a psychological test taken by each child which showed both to be at “low-risk” for animal abuse. The lawyer also pointed out that neither boy has a history of delinquency.
Gina Greisen from Nevada Voters for Animals and author of Cooney’s Law which makes the intentional killing of an animal a felony in the state, was surprised when she saw the boys in person. “One kid, his face was so angelic looking, I was really shocked that they could do this,” she said.
If convicted of the heinous crime, the boys will face a maximum of 30 days in detention.
The ordeal has left animal lovers reeling over the senseless death and asking how two young boys could be so cruel to innocent animals. An article written by Dr. Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D. and printed in “Psychology Today,” addressed the subject.
Since the 1970′s, research has consistently reported childhood cruelty to animals as the first warning sign of later delinquency, violence, and criminal behavior. In fact, nearly all violent crime perpetrators have a history of animal cruelty in their profiles. Albert deSalvo, the Boston Strangler found guilty of killing 13 women, shot arrows through dogs and cats he trapped as a child. Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold boasted about mutilating animals for fun.
Dr. Johnston wrote that children abuse animals for distinct reasons depending on their age. Kids in the age bracket of 6-12, like the boys in Las Vegas, are called “The Cry-for-Help Abuser.”
This is a child who intellectually understands that it is not okay to hurt animals. This behavior is not due to a lack of education, instead the animal abuse is more likely to be a symptom of a deeper psychological problem. As previously noted, a number of studies have linked childhood animal abuse to domestic violence in the home as well as childhood physical or sexual abuse.
The doctor further states that children in this category should, “Seek professional help. It is not normal for a child this age to intentionally mistreat an animal.”
The boys are due in court at the end of the month. Further updates will be provided as information on the case is released.
Photo Credit: G[wiz]