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Animal Abuse Links to Other Crime

Animal abuse rarely exists independently of other serious crimes, such as child abuse, domestic violence, murder, drugs or firearms.

A shocking example of this occurred recently in Ukraine. The perpetrator (pictured below) cut off a cat’s ear, testicles and tail, and then stabbed it to death.

While investigating this barbaric crime, police discovered he was also manufacturing and selling drugs and had threatened people in his village, including his mother and grandmother, warning ‘this will happen to you if you don’t keep quiet’. 

He’s been imprisoned three times before for drugs, theft and mugging, and has now been sentenced to six years in jail.






It's because of cases like this that Ukrainian police forces are queuing up to receive our training, and why harsher sentences are suddenly being given for animal abuse.


Case Study – Chernivtsi

In June we visited Chernivtsi after being invited by the police and animal groups. We took part in an excellent seminar, carried our media interviews and trained the police. Our visit inspired the police to visit the local rescue to help find forever homes for the animals and we also inspired the animal groups to build on the seminar and arrange a programme of police cooperation that has already led to one investigation under their Article 299 covering serious animal abuse. One comment we had was, “There are not enough words to describe all the benefits that the seminary brought !!! Your dedication is especially striking, and how interesting you spend it. Thank you very much!


Empowering the groups to adapt how they work together in tackling animal abuse is an especially important aspect of our project.

Our Police Training Programme is based on at least 32 studies worldwide that evidence the link between animal abuse and human violence. Here are just a few shocking findings: 

  • Children abusing animals is now recognised as one of the strongest indicators of conduct disorder by the FBI.  
  • A US study revealed that up to 76% of incidents of animal abuse occur in front of children, which can cause violent behaviour in later life.  
  • Another US study found that 70% of animal abusers had criminal records including crimes involving violence, property, drugs or disorderly behaviour.  
  • That same study revealed that in search warrants executed for animal abuse or dog fighting, 35% resulted in the seizure of drugs or guns. 
  • Imprisoned convicts in the US for sexual homicide and child abuse showed that 41% has mistreated animals in the same way they had children.
  • 73% of the prison inmates in an Italian study witnessed animal abuse and/or killing in their childhood.
  • In a Canadian study, 70% of people charged with animal cruelty also had other reported incidents of violent behaviour, including homicide. 
  • An Australian study revealed 61.5% of convicted animal abusers had also committed an assault against humans, 17% had committed sexual abuse, and all sexual homicide offenders were reported to have been cruel to animals.
  • In South Africa, 63% of incarcerated aggressive criminals had deliberately inflicted harm on an animal in the same way they had a child


Whilst our campaign manager is on maternity leave, Mark Randell, who was running the training is now running the campaign for us. Mark is a retired senior Police Detective and understands why dealing with animal crime matters. 

"This unique and innovative programme from the Naturewatch Foundation is not only having an impact across Ukraine but globally too. I have personally had messages from the USA, from Europe, Africa and Australia who are all inspired by the effect the training is having in Ukraine. It appears as if the maximum jail terms will be increased across the UK too, more closely in line with what is happening in Ukraine. It is impossible to accurately assess quite how many animals or how many communities this project is assisting but the police and the animal groups love it and we receive such great feedback.”