Tuesday, May 17, 2022 6:30 AM
Is Zoosadism on the Rise? - Warning, graphic content
Animal cruelty involves a spectrum of behavior ranging from neglect or physical abuse to intentional acts of torture and extreme cruelty - generally resulting in the animal's death. Animal “sexual abuse - more commonly known as bestiality - is a form of animal cruelty involving sexual contact between a person and an animal, that in some instances has been deemed torturous. Zoosadism is a form of extreme animal cruelty that may involve sexual abuse, such as genital penetration with an object, or nonsexual but vicious acts that are filmed or photographed for the sexual pleasure of someone viewing such acts.
Throughout the United States, animal cruelty is considered a criminal act. State laws vary widely, but most may be found online by visiting the jurisdiction's website. In addition to state and local laws, the depiction of intentional animal torture involving crushing, burning, drowning, suffocation, or impalement - collectively referred to as "crush videos” - is specifically prohibited by federal law (18 USC 48). The underlying act being filmed or photographed may be prosecuted as a separate offense.
Numerous cases have been successfully prosecuted under state laws While the federal law has been utilized less often, in 2012 a Houston man and woman were arrested for selling videos and livestreamed images of kittens, puppies, rabbits, chickens, and other animals being tortured and mutilated with household knives and tools. In 2016 a Texas naval officer shared videos online of a puppy being set on fire and other animals being drowned or ground to bits. In 2020 a young woman in Indiana livestreamed images of herself strangling, decapitating, and disemboweling cats and kittens. In February 2021, a young man in California slit his puppy's throat and posted the images on a social media site. In March of 2021, a Florida veterinarian was convicted on federal charges for amassing alarge collection of child pornography - some of which involved bondage and discipline - and for creating and sharing an image of himself having sex with a dog. While the details were not made public, the image was deemed a "crush video" under federal law. In April 2021, a Tennessee wife and mother barricaded herself in her house after being charged with animal crushing and the sexual abuse of her 4-year-old son.
Animal cruelty at any level is disturbing. Extreme animal cruelty is horrifying. Perpetrators of animal torture who post images online are very difficult to catch. In many instances, law enforcement must rely on the work of volunteer cyber sleuths who work alone or in groups to identify perpetrators and report them to authorities. If you know or suspect someone of committing acts of animal torture, contact your local law enforcement office immediately. If you have seen images but don't know the source,