Reese and Cassie Richard, an MSU master’s of public policy student who now works for the Oregon Commission for the Blind studied who is most likely to abuse a dog and why. They found that crimes that involve animal neglect are often committed by the owner. This would involve general care such as not giving a dog food or water.
Kicking or stabbing a dog are often committed by a family member or an intimate partner. It is usually the dog’s owners who engage in dog fighting, often driven by money. Poisoning a dog is typically done by neighbors. Their study also found that people who are more likely to shoot another person is more likely to shoot a dog.
They stressed that one way to reduce animal cruelty is to address the human aspect of the problem. Better animal cruelty policies, education and inter-agency communication would benefit both humans and dogs.