continued “Police haven’t been trained, the laws around animal cruelty, A 7775A are in the Agriculture and Market Laws, right now there is a bill that would place the laws back into the penal codes where police will enter the force trained to handle these cases,” said NYSHA Chairperson Patricia Valusek.
Hovel said he became involved with research into the link between animal cruelty and human aggression about 15 years ago. Hovel has worked with the National Link Coalition, a group that includes researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare advocates that believe there are significant correlations between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse and other forms of violence.
Some people can ask animal activists why they give so much attention to animals when humans are in greater need. Hovel said people should see the mistreatment of animals not as an isolated incident but an indicator or warning sign that other family members in the household may not be safe.
“If the legal system took animal cruelty more seriously, it could alleviate the system from processing criminals for crimes against spouses and other people,” said Hovel. “If we reach these people early enough then the system can get them help before it’s too late and stop the cycle of abuse.”
Hovel pointed out that famous serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Charles Manson have a history of childhood abuse or neglect and started their violent streak with animal abuse.
“No child is born saying I want to kill someone, there are predictors, and we need to intervene before their violence escalates,” said Hovel.
Hovel said fighting animal cruelty would save human lives, prevent much animal and human suffering, protect women and children, elders and lead to far less human violence.
The New York State Humane Association has conducted animal cruelty investigation workshops for police and humane investigators across the state for the past fourteen years, and previously has offered rewards to bring forth information from the public to assist police investigations. In addition, the organization actively lobbies to improve the animal protection laws of New York State.
For further information on the New York State Humane Association and the work it does, please go to the website at www.nyshumane.org and Facebook Page.