Children's abuse of animals to be taken seriously - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Children's abuse of animals to be taken seriously

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Carol Wicks, the director of Decatur Animal Services said adults need to take abuse like this seriously. Carol Wicks, the director of Decatur Animal Services said adults need to take abuse like this seriously.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Animal welfare workers are raising the alarm over a disturbing case of abuse.

Four Cullman County boys were charged for stealing and torturing a goat, then throwing it off of a bridge.

Studies show that violence against animals is sort of a training ground for future violence against people. Not all kids who abuse animals abuse people later in life, but most adults who are violent criminals were abusive with animals when they were young.

The reasons four West Point boys stole a farmers goat, tortured it and threw it off of a Cullman County bridge is unknown, but investigators say a video the boys made of what they did upset classmates who told authorities about it.

Carol Wicks, the director of Decatur Animal Services said adults need to take abuse like this seriously because when children harm animals, it can become worse as they get older.

"Talk to the children so they don't believe it's acceptable and go forward in life with the idea of 'if I'm not happy or I want to act out, it's okay to take it out on something that is smaller and weaker than me.' Because sooner or later, what is smaller and weaker will be a child," said Wicks.

The four teenage boys in Cullman County are being handled through the juvenile justice system.

They do face a felony charge for stealing the goat. The abuse of the goat is a misdemeanor.

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