Our expert says:
I would be concerned about this. While other explanations are possible, a child with such an interest in hurting animals often graduates to an interest in hurting people, and may have a significant personality disorder. Such as psychopathy. It would be wise to arrange for him to see a good local child psychiatrist or child psychologist for a thorough assessment, and advice based on whatever is found. This could indeed be related to his prior trauma, and he is so young that this reaction to it may have only recently become noticeable. He certainly sounds as though he has an excessive focus on and interest in, hurting others
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