Honestly, 4KIDS did what they did because of the time-period when anime was becoming more available to a wider audience, because it was almost unheard of that anime could be for children. (The adults still had the mindset that all anime was nothing but violence and pornography--not that that mindset still doesn't exist, but it's not as widespread.) Thing is, though our laws differ from Japanese laws, so what they may put into their children's programming may not fly well here. 4KIDS wasn't the only one who did this, but they're more notorious because they went a step further by making the attempt to erase all signs of the anime's Japanese origin, as well as blurring out text because "children don't read these days".
They took good care of PokÃ©mon, looking back at it in hindsight, but some of the other anime weren't always so lucky.