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RECENTLY INTRODUCED ANIMAL ABUSE LEGISLATION

CALIFORNIA INTRODUCES ANIMAL-ABUSE LEGISLATION

 

THE CORRELATION BETWEEN HUMAN ABUSE AND ANIMAL ABUSE

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
For all about cutting.net

April 13, 2019

CALIFORNIA INTRODUCES “THE ANIMAL CRUELTY & VIOLENCE INTERVENTION ACT OF 2019

 

IS ANIMAL CRUELTY A PREDECESSOR TO VIOLENCE AND ABUSE?

Animal abusers are five times more likely to harm humans. Various studies have shown that there is a high correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse, as well as child abuse and animal abuse.  Statistics show that 70 percent of the most violent prisoners in a study of federal prisons had serious animal abuse in their histories.

California Senator Scott Wilk and the Animal Legal Defense Fund are sponsoring the Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act of 2019, Senate Bill (“SB”) 580, to address this link between animal cruelty and violence against humans and to stop the escalation of dangerous behavior among offenders who hurt animals.

The bill requires offenders convicted of serious animal abuse crimes, as well as those convicted of crimes associated with underlying mental health issues such as hoarding, to undergo a mandatory mental health evaluation and possibly ongoing treatment if deemed beneficial by the assessing mental health professional and the court.  Judges are also empowered to order people convicted of less serious crimes to enroll in humane education courses that provide people with the skills they need to interact with animals in a positive way.

The Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act of 2019 gives judges the tools they need to rehabilitate people convicted of animal abuse and prevent the escalation of dangerous behavior, to protect animals – and humans – from future violence.  A good read on the subject of animal abuse is:  Arnold Arluke et. al., The Relationship of Animal Abuse to Violence and Other Forms of Antisocial Behavior, 14 JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, 963 (1999)

 

AN OREGON MAN GETS 60 DAYS IN JAIL FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING DOG THAT HAD TO BE EUTHANIZED

By Louis Casiano, Fox News, April 11, 2019
An Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 60 days in jail for sexually assaulting a dog who had to be euthanized due to extensive injuries.

Fidel Lopez, 52, was given the maximum penalty allowed for his offense by Multnomah County Judge Angel Lopez who said, “If it could have been more, I would have gladly given you more,” according to KOIN-TV in Portland.

The station reported that Lopez admitted to investigators to sexually assaulting the dog, a Lhaso Apso mix named Estrella. Estrella’s owner took her to a veterinarian in November 2018 after suspecting she had been abused. Lopez knew the owner and admitted to investigators that he abused the dog.

 

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES (HSUS)

The shocking number of animal cruelty cases reported every day is just the tip of the iceberg, as most cases are never reported. Unlike violent crimes against people, cases of animal abuse are not compiled by state or federal agencies, making it difficult to calculate just how common they are. However, we can use the information that is available to try to understand and prevent cases of abuse.

 

WHO ABUSES ANIMALS?

Cruelty and neglect cross all social and economic boundaries and media reports suggest that animal abuse is common in both rural and urban areas. Intentional cruelty to animals is strongly correlated with other crimes, including violence against people.

Hoarding behavior often victimizes animals. Sufferers of a hoarding disorder may impose severe neglect on animals by housing far more than they are able to adequately take care of. Serious animal neglect (such as hoarding) is often an indicator of people in need of social or mental health services.

Surveys suggest that those who intentionally abuse animals are predominantly men under 30, while those involved in animal hoarding are more likely to be women over 60.

 

MOST COMMON VICTIMS:

The animals whose abuse is most often reported are dogs, cats, horses and livestock. Undercover investigations have revealed that animal abuse abounds in the factory farm industry. But because of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state cruelty laws, only the most shocking cases are reported, and few are ever prosecuted.

 

ORGANIZED CRUELTY:

Dogfighting, cockfighting and other forms of organized animal cruelty go hand in hand with other crimes and continues in many areas of the United States due to public corruption.

The HSUS documented uniformed police officers at a cockfighting pit in Kentucky. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has prosecuted multiple cases where drug cartels were running narcotics through cockfighting and dogfighting operations, while dozens of homicides have occurred at cockfights and dogfights. In fact, a California man was killed in a disagreement about a $10 cockfight bet.

The HSUS’s investigative team combats complacent public officials and has worked with the FBI on public corruption cases in Tennessee and Virginia. In both instances, law enforcement officers were indicted and convicted.

 

CORRELATION WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

Data on domestic violence and child abuse cases reveal that a staggering number of animals are targeted by those who abuse their children or spouses. There are approximately 70 million pet dogs and 74.1 million pet cats in the U.S. where 20 men and women are assaulted per minute (an average of around 10 million a year). In one survey, 71 percent of domestic violence victims reported that their abuser also targeted pets.

In one study of families under investigation for suspected child abuse, researchers found that pet abuse had occurred in 88 percent of the families under supervision for physical abuse of their children.

 

STATE LEGISLATIVE TRENDS:

The HSUS has long led the push for stronger animal cruelty laws and provides training for law officials to detect and prosecute these crimes. With South Dakota joining the fight in March of 2014, animal cruelty laws now include felony provisions in all 50 states.

 

FIRST VS. SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE:

Some state laws only allow felony charges if the perpetrator has a previous animal cruelty conviction. Given that only a fraction of animal cruelty acts are ever reported or successfully prosecuted, the HSUS is committed to supporting felony convictions in cases of egregious cruelty regardless of whether the perpetrator has a prior conviction. A total of 46 of 50 states’ felony provisions are first-offense provisions.  Four states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and Mississippi) have laws that apply felony charges only to subsequent offenses.  A majority of anti-cruelty laws are limited to cases involving aggravated cruelty, torture or cruelty to companion animals.

 

CHANGES IN FEDERAL TRACKING:

On January 1, 2016, the FBI added Cruelty to Animals as a category in the Uniform Crime Report, a nationwide crime-reporting system commonly used in homicide investigations. While only about a third of U.S. communities currently participate in the system, the data generated will help create a clearer picture of animal abuse and guide strategies for intervention and enforcement. Data collection covers four categories: simple/gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse (such as dogfighting and cockfighting) and animal sexual abuse.

Law Enforcement has long known the direct correlation between animal abuse and violence in society.  As the old adage, “The way a person treats an animal is exactly how their going to treat you.”

Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Managing Member
Phone: (985) 630-3500
Email: richardedennis@outlook.com
Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

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