There have been some hateful comments towards animals on my last few articles. I thought I would take a couple of minutes to explain how compassion and pet ownership can improve our lives and our communities.
How we treat animals says a lot about who we are. Experts from many fields are researching and recognizing the benefits and significance that animals have in the lives of people.
Children with pets have:
- Less allergies
- Higher IQ scores
- Easier interaction with peers
- Increased ability to nurture and care for others
- Increased sense of responsibility
Seniors with pets have:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved balance, coordination and muscular strength
- More motivation to exercise
- Less depression and anxiety
- Higher survival rate of coronary heart disease
The violence link:
Research has also revealed that there is a direct link between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans. Here are some statistics:
- In 88% of families being treated for child abuse in New Jersey, the animals in the home had also been abused.
- In one study, 57% of battered wmen with pets said their partners had harmed or killed their animals.
- The first common link the FBI found among serial killers was cruelty to animals.
Whether you like animals or not, research is clearly showing that communites that encourage responsible pet ownership are better places to live. Thank you to Best Friends Animal Society for compiling the sources for this article.
Sources: Stanley Coren, Why We Love the Dogs We Do; Dr. Marty Becker, The HealingPower of Pets; Leo K. Bustad, DVM, Compassion: Our Last Great Hope; Alison Gianotto,Director, Pet Abuse Statistics, www.pet-abuse.com; Janet Deery, President, Animal Awareness,www.animalawareness.org; Kids’ Best Friends: Pets Help Prevent Allergies, www.cnn.com/health