Psychotherapist says animal abuse cases most likely stem from ab - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Psychotherapist says animal abuse cases most likely stem from abusers childhood

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 Two cases of animal cruelty have been reported in our area in two weeks.

A local psychotherapist says this behavior stems from early childhood.
Hundreds of animals are abused each year in the U.S.

"We really can't wrap our mind around that, because emotions and connections with animals," said Laura Berrier, psychotherapist.

This 9-week-old kitten named Katniss became a part of that statistic when she was set on fire in Cleveland two weeks ago.

Police believe young boys did it.

Barrier says it's not normal for someone, especially a child to want to harm another living thing.

"The average child is not going to do something to hurt an animal and most children would have emotions about harm to an animal," said Berrier.

However she says the harmful behavior can be triggered by their surroundings.

"Being abused at home sometimes when there's dysfunction or just bad situations like divorce or tragedy children will act things out," said Berrier.

But sometimes when a child feels no remorse for harm they cause, it could be a conduct disorder and it could lead to criminal activity later on in life.

She says parents should be looking out for the red flags.

"Like aggression, lying, stealing, and cheating. Anytime you see a child really enjoying or having power over another person," said Berrier.

Berrier says the earlier the treatment, the better the outlook.

"It's best to just recognize and see it for what it is and go on and do something about it," said Berrier.

Berrier says if parents see alarming behavior to seek professional help.

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