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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 29 Aug 2009 Issue

Stop Would-Be Abusers Before They Start

July 2009

Stop Would-Be Abusers Before They Start Since 1894 -- shortly after our founding in 1877 -- American Humane has been working to raise awareness of what we call The Linkģ between violence to people and violence to animals. A crime against an animal should never be taken lightly. First, it is cruel in its own right. Second, it is often a red flag -- a sign that the perpetrator could be capable of hurting people, too. Please join American Humane in spreading knowledge of The Link and stopping the cycle of violence behind it! Your gift will help us:

Advocate for legislation that protects animal victims of abuse, such as state bills that allow pets to be included in domestic-violence protective orders.

Advocacy gives animals a voice. For example, in Scottsbluff, Neb., an abused cat was removed by court order from the home of a woman whose boyfriend had assaulted her and previously beaten another kitten to death. What would have happened to the remaining cat without legal intervention?

Produce educational resources, such as the guides weíre currently creating for teachers and parents who suspect that a child is abusing animals.

Knowledge is power. Consider the recent case of a teenager in Florida who allegedly stalked, killed and mutilated more than a dozen helpless cats in his neighborhood. It might have never happened if an adult in the troubled teenís life had recognized and addressed his penchant for violence.

Form community coalitions designed to spot and stop violence in all its forms.

There is safety in numbers. Statewide coalitions in Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware and New Mexico, as well as groups in cities such as Boston, Phoenix, Colorado Springs and San Antonio, have formed to spread awareness of The Link and increase the likelihood of identifying where and when violence may be occurring. More communities need to take action.

Train human services professionals on The Link and the importance of sharing information about abusers across organizations and systems.

Working together works. For example, In St. Louis, Mo., officials rescued 360 emaciated, parasite-infested dogs, cats, donkeys, guinea pigs and other animals from a private residence. During the search, the officials also discovered six children living in unfit conditions, and immediately contacted child protective services workers for assistance.
Serve as consultants in Link-related court cases.

The Link deserves its day in court. American Humane is currently consulting on a case involving a 6-month-old German shepherd puppy who was beaten to death by a man also known to be abusive toward family members. Itís important that judges and juries understand The Link when evaluating abusersí behavior. Please help American Humane continue this vital work. Donate today! The Link is real -- and itís impacting thousands of people and pets every day. Act now to help reduce the abuse!.

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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]

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