We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.
Kiley Blackman as published on
May 31, 2014
The worst animal cruelty disaster in Westchester's history was discovered in April. Studies link animal cruelty and violence against humans. Please speak up if you see animal abuse.
Re "Investigator: Cats found hanging from tree were beaten to death,"
April 26 article:
We are still reeling from the worst animal cruelty disaster in Westchester's history, when 25 bludgeoned cats were found hanging from trees in Yonkers in April. Our hearts broke to think of the suffering these innocents went through, some just tiny kittens, only seeking shelter and a bit of food. They did not deserve such a miserable, cruel fate. There is a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. We urge anyone who has information about this atrocity to come forward; those who feel free to hurt helpless victims must be brought to justice.
Several studies have found a clear link between animal cruelty and violence against humans. Please speak up — you might be saving someone's child from a terrible fate: Ten years after the animal abuser tortured and burned the cat for whom Buster's Law was named, he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Numerous other violent criminals had a history of abusing animals, including the Columbine school shooters, the Boston Strangler, Jeffrey Dahmer and one of the Jonesboro school shooters. Seven of the school shootings that took place between 1997 and 2001 in the United States involved boys who had previously committed acts of animal cruelty.
It has been mandatory in New York state since 1976 that humane education be taught in grade school, but it is not being done. Humane education promotes environmental conservation and the development of empathy toward all living beings. Teaching kindness and compassion to children might go a long way in stopping the current bullying epidemic in the schools, as well as helping animals — why are schools allowed to ignore this mandate?
Law enforcement, too, must be sensitized. A recent case of horrific animal abuse in Chicago was not reported by the responding officer, who stated, "It's just an animal." Seminars are being conducted all over the country to educate police departments on the handling of animal abuse cases; there are laws on the books deeming deliberate or negligent harming of an animal to be a criminal act. A crime is a crime, against a human or non-human animal, and must be treated as such.
Perceptions are changing: People now realize we have no inherent right to harm animals. Indeed, when it comes to the most vulnerable members of society — children, the elderly, animals — we must speak up for them. All deserve kindness, respect and compassion. If you see them in trouble, don't turn away.
The writer is founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester.
If you have information about the Yonkers cat torture case, call:
• SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Hotline, 914-941-7797.
• Yonkers Police Department, 914-377-7724 or 914-377-7725.
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WESTCHESTER4GEESE is an adjunct of ANIMAL DEFENDERS OF WESTCHESTER. We advocate against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation, including hunting, experimentation, fur, circuses and rodeos - https://www.facebook.com/Westchester4Geese