I would generally agree on these stats. However, I have to say that animals must be well protected when you adopt a child. If the child comes into the home with the pets already living there, keep a careful watch.
If you are thinking of adopting an older child and do not have pets, do not get any pets until you know the child so well that you are almost certain (because nothing is 100%).
One of my conditions on adopting a child was that the child had not shown any violence toward animals. The maiden had not been violent in the current foster home and there was a dog.
But I learned a lesson and hope the CAS did as well. Foster homes and adoptive homes bring out big differences. The maiden was jealous of my 16.5 year old cat. Tasha had been with me before the maiden and the maiden didn’t like that. She tried to kill Tasha.
When Tasha died I thought I’d try a dog. The dog would be our dog. But the dog became a victim during her rage stage. He never went for her even when she was punching him in the head and kicking him. He learned the signs of an oncoming rage and he ran outside to be safe or would stay close to my side to protect me and so I could protect him. She still gets jealous of him 7 years later. Because he gets to sleep in my room and she doesn’t.
She is 15 (in physical years) but only 8 in other ways developmentally. So while I will let her come in for a cuddle, and a chat, she has her own room and that is where she sleeps. She hasn’t raged for a few years now – those days are behind us now I am almost certain. She hasn’t hurt the dog since those days.
She doesn’t remember hurting the dogs. She remembers hurting Tasha though. Which tells me hurting Tasha the cat was purposeful. The dogs were simply an object during the rage.
I offer these thoughts not to scare prospective adoptive parents – the purpose of my blog is to share experiences I’ve had, educate people and learn from others. That makes us all better parents and citizens in the end.
Pets can teach empathy and responsibility. But like everything having a pet depends on each individual situation. I wouldn’t advise getting one for those reasons – I taught my daughter empathy using wildlife lessons because there was too much emotion wrapped up in the household animals.