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MASON CITY, IA – Pets are an important part of many lives and it seems, in certain situations, they’re getting more sympathy than humans.
According to a new study conducted by northeastern university, humans say they show more empathy for man’s best friend than they would for battered humans.
Participants were asked to read the article and rate their feelings of empathy toward the victim of the story.
In the end, battered dogs and battered children drew the same response.
“It seems like there was a bit more sympathy for the animals maybe because animals are a voiceless victim. They don’t have a voice to cry out for help on their own,” said Sybil Soukup.
Sybil Soukup is the Executive Director for the Humane Society of North Iowa and says she can understand why some would have that response toward pets.
“Now we’ve slowly brought those animals into our homes, into our hearts and they become family members in a lot of homes and that’s becoming a bigger part of our community,” said Soukup.
While she believes the shift is great when it comes to finding pets new homes, there’s also the fear that we may not show enough compassion toward other humans as well.
An issue Mary Ingham with Mason City Crisis Intervention says is about for victims.
“The reality is when people can shift the blame on the adult, it makes it feel like it’s going to be less real and less likely to happen to them,” said Ingham.
Though they both deal with different realms of abuse, they both believe there needs to be an effort made to show compassion for all victims and those left vulnerable through abuse.
The final findings will be presented for the American Sociological Association this Sunday.