Little distinction between animal and human to abusers

Editor:

I read comments recently by local resident and preservationist Stevie Halverstadt. She spoke of the importance of upholding the laws and described a society without them as “lawless.”

I use this same example when speaking of laws surrounding the cruelty and neglect of animals. People often say to me “you must really love animals.” Well, yes, I do. But I also care about humanity and my community. Surprise!

How we act toward one element of our environment has a direct correlation to how we treat other segments of our world. Did you know, according to American Humane, (a national organization dedicated to protecting children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation) more American households have pets than children.

In 88 percent of the homes where children are abused, pets are harmed as well, often to induce coercion or psychological control. Seventy percent of animal abusers will commit other crimes. Drug trafficking and violent interpersonal crimes are common partners. Where there is smoke there is fire.

Just think, almost nine out of 10 times when you see someone abusing an animal, a human is at risk. Don’t walk, RUN to your telephone when you see something that makes you wince or turn your head. The “feeling” that makes you uncomfortable is your conscience telling you to take action.

In many communities, human services, animal services, law enforcement, prosecutors and the judiciary seek education and share resources and expertise to address this violence. Animal cruelty problems are people problems.

Recently a long-time friend returned to Columbiana County for a visit. I asked if there was a possibility that he might move back “home.” I was embarrassed and angry to have to accept his observation of the deteriorated condition of his hometown and of the surrounding communities.

I asked myself, what needs to be done to make Columbiana County more inviting? While the answer is too multi-faceted to address here, one answer is obvious. No one wants to move to a community that tolerates disrespect for authority and human decency.

Thumbing one’s nose at laws and those who enforce them must be addressed. If it is bad law or a bad enforcer, then take steps to affect change. In the words of Ms. Halverstadt, “the law prevails for the health, safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Do not tolerate negative behavior. Demand high standards in your circle of life. Stand up, speak out, be heard. Columbiana County’s future is counting on your participation.

President Kennedy said “A rising tide lifts all boats.” I submit that this is true even when the boats contain dogs and cats.

For more information or speakers on “The Link” between animal abuse and family violence, please contact The Humane Society of Columbiana County (not connected to HSUS) at 330-332-2600.

Jenny Pike

Salem, Ohio

5 Comments

  1. Butch says:

    The pecentage of animal abuse is small HSUS lets all of us know when it happens by making it front page news There are laws for animal abuse and also for are kids I hold human life over animal life I think if you abuse a kid they should give you years I think if you abuse a animal you should also serve time not as much as abusing a child Odd you put The Humane Society Of Columbiana Co. Why make the differance between HSUS and you own Humane Society HSUS wants no one to own pets HOW MUCH MONEY DOES HSUS GIVE TO The Clumbiana Co. Humane Society a Year?? PLEASE LET ALL OF US KNOW Jenny Pike

  2. Rachel Allen says:

    Jenny, you bring out a fact supported by well-established evidence: the link between animal abuse and human abuse.

    A New York Times article published on June 11, 2010, titled “The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome,” provides insightful information on this issue, its validity, and how, armed with the evidence of the link between animal & human abuse, law enforcement agencies are now working closely with doctors, veteranarians, as well as both child and animal protective agencies. Following is an excerpt, after which you will find the web link to the entire article.

    “The link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is becoming so well established that many U.S. communities now cross-train social-service and animal-control agencies in how to recognize signs of animal abuse as possible indicators of other abusive behaviors. In Illinois and several other states, new laws mandate that veterinarians notify the police if their suspicions are aroused by the condition of the animals they treat. The state of California recently added Humane Society and animal-control officers to the list of professionals bound by law to report suspected child abuse and is now considering a bill in the State Legislature that would list animal abusers on the same type of online registry as sex offenders and arsonists.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/magazine/13dogfighting-t.html

    So what’s this all this mean? It means that if you know someone who is kicking the dog or punching the cow in the nose, you better keep him or her away from your children–and beyond that, you should report them to both law enforcement and animal protective services.

    As to the question raised by Butch regarding the HSUS giving to local shelters: local shelters are local organizations, dealing with local problems; the Humane Society of the United States is a national organization which addresses national animal protective issues requiring large amounts of money and which the local shelters are incapable of handling. The HSUS involves itself with undercover investigations nationwide in large slaughterhouses, as well as dairy and egg producers, activities that could not be done by the local shelter, and that could not be done by the HSUS if all their money went to the local shelter. Many people who volunteer in or donate to their animal shelter also will make monthly donations to HSUS to support animal protection on a national level.

    “If a man is not to stifle his human feelings, he must practice kindness towards animals, for he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” Immanuel Kant

  3. Bea Elliott says:

    It is totally unnecessary to kill animals for meat, dairy or eggs. Half the world survives fine on a plant based diet… Given this information – and the increasing awareness that animal products aren’t the healthiest choice for human bodies or for the planet – How can anyone say that killing an animal isn’t “cruel” no matter how “nicely” it’s done. It simply isn’t required for survival… Therefore every slaughter is done for taste or habit alone – This makes meat, dairy & eggs – “inhumane”.

  4. Stakeholder says:

    Well Rachel, if the HSUS’s money is for uncover work then why do they give money to FBI identified terrorist organizations like ALF and ELF? Why are their pension plans in the thousands of dollars and why do they charge local shelters when they do need help? I’ll tell you why, because HSUS only cares about domestic animal extintion, that is why.

    Wayne Pacelle is a dictator and I would rank him right up against Hitler and Sadam Hussain. This country is the land of the free and no one, not even the great Wayne Pacelle has the right to tell people how to live their life. If we choose to eat meat, that is our choice. I’m tired of all you Vegans and vegitarians going around telling everyone that farmers are cruel. Your as clueless as a lawyer trying to perform open heart surgery in the dark.

    Bea, the last time I checked you didn’t have to kill the chicken to get the egg, it just comes out on it’s own nor do you need to kill the cow to get the milk. Your as bad as HSUS dictating no one should eat meat, you live your life, i’ll live mine.

  5. Farmer B says:

    I was told by a vegan vegie what ever they are The Bible was wrote by the devil No one every eat meat when the bible was wrote and that if you Believe in the King James Bible you was going to hell God didn’t want any one to eat meat Those animal rights people are crazy maybe from lack of meat in their diet

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