Watch Tip: Animal Sexual Abuse

Posted on August 21st, 2011 by Anna Nirva

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Learn to identify the signs of sexual assault or abuse toward animals. Yes, the topic is highly repugnant but it is necessary that animal lovers be aware of bestiality (sex crimes) against animals. Watch for signs and smells of infection, abrasions, fur loss, fur matting, blood, and/or semen around the animal’s rear end. Abusers will attack either or both male and female dogs and cats, even very young animals, sometimes using objects in addition to a penis.

This important topic is considered taboo, so stop reading here if you are squeamish.

Be aware that a sign of sexual abuse might not actually prove to be sexual or violent; it could be an innocent sign of illness. Do not jump to conclusions as an erroneous bestiality report could be very damaging (bestiality is also known as zoophilia). But if the physical evidences are suspicious and involve the animal’s anus, vagina, or penis, it is very important that you investigate or call authorities. Abuse to animals and abuse to humans is strongly linked, studies have proven. You may save a life.

If you know the family, consider these signs as well.

  • Does the family have a history of pets disappearing or dying at a young age?
  • If a pet exhibits an injury, does the family try to explain away the injury with an excuse that appears inadequate, such as “oh, she just fell off the couch” to explain blood smears around the anus?
  • Do stories from different family members about the injury or injuries seem to conflict?
  • Is there more than one injury and do they appear to be in different stages of healing?
  • Does the family use a series of different vets to help conceal the serial abuse?
  • Does the family keep one animal in a private location such as a basement or garage but other pets are kept in the house or backyard? If so, do the family’s stories about that seem to conflict?
  • Does the dog or cat appear to be overly fearful or aggressive around certain family members?
  • Are there signs or sounds of other violence in the home?

Often animals who are sexually abused are poorly cared for overall. In addition to observing the physical signs of bestiality, including infections, fur problems, tail injuries, and bruises/tears/abrasions around the vagina, anus or penis, look for other signs of neglect and abuse.

  • Starvation
  • Illnesses
  • Filthy or inadequate living environment
  • Presence of penetrative objects in the pet’s living environment (possibly bloody or stained)

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