Within half an hour our Facebook page had garnered more than 1800 views, been shared 18 times and attracted 12 comments.
By Monday, the item had been viewed more than 14,000 times, shared more than 100 times and attracted more than 40 comments, most from outraged people.
Ironically, many were baying for blood, saying that displays of animal cruelty by young people meant the perpetrators would grow into violent criminals and needed to be caught and punished.
But despite claims of the 1963 Macdonald Triad that the three behavioural characteristics of animal cruelty, pyromania and persistent bedwetting in a person past the age of five were a link to violent adult behaviour, including homicide, further studies have shed a more accurate light on the situation.
Murdoch University senior lecturer in clinical psychology, John Gardiner, said later studies didn’t find the pattern as common as first thought.
He did say that animal cruelty by young people was considered a sign of a lack of empathy for other living creatures.
‘Unlike girls, boys are conditioned to be cruel to animals in their younger years and take longer to make the connection that animals, even though they are different from humans, can still feel pain,’ Mr Gardiner said.
He said groups of boys demonstrating animal cruelty was not as diagnostic, or an indication of some sort of psychotic tendency, due to the peer nature of the behaviour, the responsibility for which was also dissipated by the group.
True callous and unemotional psychopaths were not likely to act in groups as their level of social interaction was not very good.