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Dog abusers have ‘a total lack of conscience,” doctor says

Published: Tue, February 7, 2012 @ 1:06 p.m.

Dog abusers have ‘a total lack of conscience,” doctor says

Not everyone in prison is an animal abuser, but prison is where animal abusers end up after their crimes escalate, the clinic director at PsyCare says.

“When we’re looking for antisocial behavior disorder, that’s one of the things we look at is to see if they have any [behavior of] animal cruelty,” said Dr. Deirdre Petrich.

In the last two weeks, Youngstown authorities have documented at least three cases of cruelty involving dogs.

Last week, a bag containing two hog-tied German Shepherd puppies was found across from the Western Reserve Transit Authority terminal downtown. The pups were tied in such a way that as they struggled, the rope tightened. Later that week, authorities found a dog disposed of in a trash can thrown over a ravine.

On Monday, witnesses saw two dogs that had been taken from a Lemoyne Avenue, Youngstown, home dropped from an Interstate 680 overpass onto the road below. Those dogs survived although one suffered a bruised lung.

Dr. Petrich, who has two therapy dogs in her Westchester Drive office that sit in during patient sessions, said she is disgusted by the recent cases.

“I believe we’re talking about a total lack of conscience,” she said.

Those responsible show no regard, no empathy, and the behavior isn’t isolated.

“The person is probably bullying in other areas,” Dr. Petrich said.

It’s also likely to escalate.

“This is going to bubble over into people,” she said. “If they’re not already involved in domestic violence of some kind, this is something that usually always leads to something bigger.”

Read much more in Wednesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com

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