Surveys show that people have less empathy for battered human adults than they do dogs, according to a paper at the American Sociological Association.
“Unlike survey research, experiments usually employ a homogenous sample in order to establish a cause and effect relationship rather than to generalize a large population,” Levin said. “However, there is really no reason to believe that our results would differ very much nationally, particularly among college students.”
Levin thinks the findings would be similar for cats as well. “Dogs and cats are family pets,” he said. “These are animals to which many individuals attribute human characteristics.”