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Study shows correlation between ownership of vicious dogs and commission of other crimes

Aida Dulkiene/

If you own an unlicensed pit bull, are you more likely to get speeding tickets? If your shih-tzu is properly licensed and tagged, does that make you more apt to stay on the right side of the law?

One bad behavior doesn’t cause the other, write the authors of a recent study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence (Vol. 21, No. 12), but they seem to be correlated.

The authors of “Ownership of High-Risk (‘Vicious’) Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors: Implications for Risk Assessment” used a 1999 study of animal abuse and human violence as a jumping off point. In that earlier study, researchers concluded that, rather than “graduating” from abuse of animals to abuse of people, these violent behaviors were often intermingled. Rather than using animal abuse as a sort of sick warm-up to hurting humans, people engaged in one or the other were often simultaneously engaged in a range of deviant behaviors.

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