In October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classified animal cruelty as a class A felony and a “crime against society,” on a par with such serious crimes as homicide. The FBI intends to prosecute intentional abuse and torture, gross neglect, sexual abuse and organized abuse, which includes dog fights. Also, the onset of tracking animal abuse cases nationwide will assist local police and counselors in identifying and connecting with minors that show an early tendency to abuse.
FBI studies show an alarming connection between animal abusers and perpetrators of extremely violent crimes against humans. The goal is that early detection and intervention will help certain children get the counseling and social support they need to live productive lives free of crime and abuse.
“Regardless of whether people care about how animals are treated, people, like legislators and judges, care about humans, and they can’t deny the data,” says Natasha Dolezal, a director for the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, Oregon.