Animal Cruelty: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding

Mary P. Brewster, PhD, and Cassandra L. Reyes, PhD / Carolina Academic Press 

The various contributors to the seventeen chapters of Animal Cruelty: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding address all critical aspects of the subject: history, related legislation, special types of cruelty, its link to other types of violence and crime, theories used to explain animal cruelty, the role of the media, and emerging issues. The breadth and depth of the topics covered establish it as a basic comprehensive text for undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines, including criminal justice, criminology, psychology, law, sociology, and animal studies. Moreover, it is especially well-suited for use in classes covering such topics as deviant behavior, animal law, violent crime, veterinary studies, and abnormal psychology.

AWI’s Dr. Mary Lou Randour contributes a chapter on “The Psychology of Animal Abuse Offenders.” She applies the vast literature (bolstered by robust empirical findings and theoretical formulations) on the origins and characteristics of aggressive and anti-social behavior to foster an understanding of the psychology of animal abuse offenders. Randour proposes that animal-directed violence is another form of interpersonal violence, a type of anti-social and aggressive behavior, and should be understood and examined using that theoretical and empirical framework.

This comprehensive volume gives the study of animal cruelty—in all its many forms and from a variety of angles—a much firmer footing to establish and assert that animal cruelty is a type of violence that requires responses from policymakers, researchers, and educators.