For every animal lover, cases of animal cruelty, whether it is abuse or neglect, are a reality that is always hard to accept. Most of us simply cannot understand how certain individuals could harm innocent and loving creatures.
For this reason, animal protection laws were created and research continues to be done in this area to try to prevent not only animal cruelty but also criminal violence cases. The Humane Society of the United States crafted a document called First Strike: The Violence Connection that proves this fact by relying on multiple studies that show that animal cruelty is linked to violence against people, private property violation, and drug crimes.
Pets are not only the first victims of violence in a distressed household, but they are also used as a way to control or manipulate the human target. In this context, it is not a surprise that more than 80% of women living in shelters due to domestic abuse witnessed their partners threatening to murder, or even killing, the family pet. Is Animal Cruelty Linked To Criminal Violence?
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act
Animal cruelty is a felony in all 50 states of the United States. In our article A Dog, A Miracle and An Animal Cruelty Law, we shared the story of Patrick, who was found miraculously alive inside a plastic bag in a dumpster in Newark, New Jersey, in 2011. While Patrick struggled to survive and recover, a movement was created to raise awareness about animal abuse as well as the need for state and federal animal welfare laws and an Animal Abuser Registry.
The news reached millions of people worldwide who joined the movement and helped bring about Patrick’s Law, a bill that was approved on September 13th by the Senate Economic Growth Committee and became a law on October 26th when the New Jersey Senate unanimously passed S1303. Patrick’s Law considers cruelty and neglect as a fourth-degree crime or a third-degree crime if the animal dies. A Dog, A Miracle and An Animal Cruelty Law
On November 25, 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed the PACT Act, making heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty against living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians a federal felony. Some of the extreme acts that the PACT Act considers as crimes include intentional crushing, suffocating, drowning, burning and impalement, punishable by a fine, up to seven years in prison or both.
This new bills is an extension and strengthening of a 2010 legislation that made the creation, sale and distribution of extreme animal cruelty videos illegal. Thanks to the PACT Act, federal authorities can now also prosecute individuals in those videos.
Animal rights is a movement that knows no geographical barriers. The European Parliament, representing the 27 member nations of the European Union, passed new regulations that bans animal testing on cosmetics, after decades of advocacy work. Animal Testing Ban Goes Into Effect In The European Union
This new law came to be on the same day that President Trump received and honored Conan, the famous military dog hero, at the White House. Conan, a Belgian Malinois, was a member of the special forces team that led the mission which resulted in the capture and death of the leader of ISIS, one of the most wanted terrorists worldwide.
All of these good news for animal and dog lovers are a great motivator as the crusade for animal rights continues.
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