As pet parent you love, adore and care for your pet as part of your family. In return they bring you unlimited joy, unconditional love and are part of wonderful memories that last a lifetime.
That special, loving bond with your pet makes it beyond difficult to hear about any type of animal abuse. Horrific acts of violence perpetrated on a pet seem particularly heinous as the animal is unable to escape the situation or fight back again it’s abusers - often people who agreed to love and care for these animals.
Stopping this violence is difficult, but recent laws have made it easier to punish animal abusers with serious charges that and penalties that are stiff.
In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently announced that animal abuse will be prosecuted as a crime against society and under the new categorization the FBI will begin tracking and collecting information about incidents of animal cruelty and the perpetrators.
According to the FBI, the official definition of animal cruelty will be:
Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment. Included are instances of duty to provide care, e.g., shelter, food, water, care if sick or injured, transporting or confining an animal in a manner likely to cause injury or death; causing an animal to fight with another; inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal. This definition does not include proper maintenance of animals for show or sport; use of animals for food, lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.
This new FBI categorization is intended to improve the way crimes against animals are tracked nationwide and could help bolster state animal cruelty laws across the United States. All 50 states now have felony animal cruelty provisions.
There’s a national consensus that animal abuse should be treated as a serious crime. Now animal cruelty will be a Group A felony. The new classification will make it easier to get harsher sentences, and to identify young offenders. Because cases of animal cruelty, including animal neglect, will now be included in the FBI Uniform Crime Report law enforcement agencies have more incentive to pay attention to any incidents, and statistics on these types of crime will be more accurate and detailed.
Information about these crimes will be updated in the FBI and law enforcement databases nationwide, The new animal cruelty statistics will allow police and counselors to identify those that harm animals, which is often a precursor to harming humans. Infamous serial killers “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz, “Boston Strangler” Albert DeSalvo, and Jeffrey Dahmer are known to have tortured and killed animals before they went on to human victims.
The new FBI categorization is significant because it affirms that at the highest level of our government animal cruelty is recognized as a violent crime. We applaud these efforts and hope to see more prosecution for these horrific crimes against helpless animals.