Finally, the FBI is going to start taking animal cruelty seriously. An Associated Press story Wednesday reported the law enforcement organization will begin tracking cases of animal cruelty all over the country starting in 2016. For years, mental health professionals have known there is a link between animal abuse and other violent crimes, so its high time the problem gets the attention it deserves.
Mary Lou Randour, a senior adviser for animal cruitly programs and training at the nonprofit Animal WElfare Institute was interviewed, and confirmed that up until now, there has been little to no empirical data collected , something she’s worked years to rectify.
According to Randour, not only is abuse and neglect of an animal often the precursors to the same torture being conducted on human beings, simply witnessing it can hinder the development of empathy in young children, which is a form of abuse itself. Noticing little things, like a child abusing a family pet in any way, should bring scrutiny finally to what is happening both inside the child’s home and inside his or her head. Imagine how much crime may be prevented by this new requirement. Now that’s being proactive.
Thanks to the new practice, there will be more scrutiny of reports on the local level, because police departments will be required to report animal-related crimes to the national database known as the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, under the categoy “crime against society.” Now, criminologists, law enforcement and researchers will finally be able to connect the dots and hopefully better zero-in on those in society that need intervention before people pay the price.