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Animal Sex Abuse







Animal Sex Abuse


July, 2019 was a busy month for animal sex offenders

By M. Jenny Edwards

Bestiality is an uncomfortable topic to talk about. Some people believe it happens rarely and that it's a victimless crime. Some believe that anyone sexually attracted to an animal must be "crazy". Practitioners think it's a private sexual practice that shouldn't be criminalized at all.

But research has begun to demonstrate the strong link between bestiality and child sexual abuse and exploitation among other forms of criminal or antisocial behavior.

While we still don't know why it happens, we are learning more about how it happens and when.

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Last month, nearly 60% of bestiality-related arrests involved a child.  

In California, a man advertised his 5-year-old grandaughter for sex acts, including bestiality. In a similar case in Canada, a grandmother shared nude pictures of three of her grandchildren with a stranger online, and chatted with him about her interest in bestiality.

In England, a man downloaded downloaded thousands of pornographic images of children and animals, as well as a manual on how to have sex with his own daughter.  And in New York, a man is on trial for possession of 17,000 images of child and animal pornography. Among the images were 16 showing the offender having sex with an animal.  

Forty-five U.S. states have passed laws criminalizing bestiality, but both detection and prosecution of cases continues to be limited. Pennsylvania resident Ed Henderson was arrested in 2018 have having sex with a mini horse that was being boarded at his barn. In July, he was found guilty of a second degree misdemeanor and given 6 months' probation. In Texas, Phil Mercon had sex with his neighbor's dog. Prosecutors are recommending he be given a deferred sentence, meaning that if he completes the conditions of his probation the charges will be wiped from his record.

The bottom line is that bestiality is likely more pervasive, and much more serious than we realize, and points to the need for more in-depth research into the motivations of people who are sexually interested in animals, as well enhanced sanctions against those who act on those urges.








Animal sex abuse (also known as bestiality) is intentional, sexually-motivated contact between a person and an animal. It is abuse whether penetration or injury occurs.

Sexual abuse of an animal is illegal in the U.S. and most foreign countries. See LAWS for more info, and SEMINARS for course information and registration.

Our understanding of zoophilia (sexual interest in animals) and sexual contact with animals (SCA) has grown significantly 20 years.

Here is where you'll find summaries or commentaries on research related to zoophilia and animal sex abuse.

The number of reported incidents of sexual contact with animals (SCA) has risen dramatically and steadily since the early 2000's.. SCA has been linked to interpersonal violence, child and adult sexual abuse, and other forms of criminal and antisocial behavior.  Click below to see case examples.

Sexual contact with animals (SCA) is illegal thorought most of the United States, and is illegal in all 50 states if injury or death occurs.

New legislation is introduced across the country each year.  Click here to find current and proposed laws.