State data shows increase in animal cruelty incidents, link to domestic violence

State data shows increasing trend of reported animal cruelty incidents. (Photo courtesy of mgnonline and{ } ASPCA.)

Data from Michigan State Police (MSP) showed an increasing trend of animal cruelty across the state.

October is national domestic violence awareness month. Advocacy groups said there's a connection between domestic violence and violence towards animals.

In 2017, MSP reported that there were more than 91,000 domestic violence victims. During that same year police said there were 105 murders related to domestic violence.

Animal cruelty data

MSP data showed a consistent increase in the amount of reported animal cruelty incidents over a three-year time period.

Despite some of the incidents having been cleared by police, the trend remained the same.

According to MSP's Michigan Incident Crime Report "Crime at A Glance", animal cruelty crimes grew around 100 cases each year from 2016 to 2018.

Animal Cruelty crimes by year:

  • 2016: 93
  • 2017: 202
  • 2018: 297

In total, animal cruelty incidents in Michigan went up by about 301% percent between 2016 and 2018.

Domestic violence and pets

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence said animal abuse is similar to domestic violence abuse. It said, in both cases abusers demonstrate power and control over a person or family through the use of physical threats.

According to the coalition, animal abusers were more likely to become domestic violence abusers. They were also more likely to have been arrested for other violent crimes and have drug-related offenses.

The coalition said 71% of domestic violence victims who entered a shelter reported their batterer threatened, injured, or killed a family pet.

In Michigan, domestic violence is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Resources for domestic violence victims

Resources for animal cruelty