MEDIA RELEASE: In Defense of Animals Helping End the Cycle of Violence Between Humans and Animals
Carroll County, Miss. (April 20, 2021) – In Defense of Animals, the international animal protection organization that operates Hope Animal Sanctuary and the Justice for Animals Campaign in Carroll County, is observing Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week this April 18-25 to raise awareness about the link between cruelty to animals and domestic violence.
For the past 28 years, In Defense of Animals has served animals and communities in the Deep South to educate about animal cruelty and responsible guardianship, and to get justice for animal victims of cruelty and neglect. It has also seen firsthand the link between cruelty to animals and other forms of violence against people and emphasizes the need for law enforcement and the courts to take animal cruelty cases seriously to protect the entire community.
It is commonly known that serial killers often “practice” by torturing animals. Animal abuse is linked to a variety of other crimes including violence against humans. One study by the Chicago Police Department found that two out of three people arrested for crimes against animals have also been arrested for battery against another person. Animal abuse is also a predictor of violence towards domestic partners. An overwhelming number of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed animals. Animal abuse must be prioritized to protect animals and the community.
Many law enforcement officials treat animal cruelty with the seriousness it deserves. However, the Justice for Animals campaign is currently engaged with multiple guardians who are fighting for justice for their companion animals where charges don’t suit the nature of the crimes.
In Hattiesburg, a maintenance worker with a criminal record for domestic violence who fatally tortured a cat named Koji on a call for a repair has only been charged with a misdemeanor. In Defense of Animals is working with both the district attorney and the prosecuting attorney on the case to bring a felony charge, which has been supported by over 13,000 members of the public. The Justice for Animals Campaign is also working with an Ohio woman to gain justice for Prince, her beloved cat, who was brutalized by her former partner. He was originally charged with a felony, but the charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor. Over 12,000 In Defense of Animals supporters have called for justice.
“It defies logic that prosecutor would reduce any egregious animal cruelty case to a misdemeanor charge knowing that statistics indisputably prove that these offenders do not select their victims by species, they harm the least resistant victims. Their victims are whomever they wish to vent their rage or bent frustrations on and the cycle of violence needs to be broken,” said Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director.
In Defense of Animals applauds Mississippi lawmakers for updating the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011, which made animal cruelty a first-offense felony and allows a charge of cruelty for every animal harmed. However, the law must be used as intended to hold abusers accountable, and more states, including Mississippi, should include companion animals in domestic violence orders of protection.
In Defense of Animals also encourages members of the public to always treat animals with kindness and respect, to adopt and to be responsible guardians of companion animals by providing them with the love and care they need. The organization also encourages people to report suspected cruelty to animals to the proper authorities, and to contact lawmakers to stress the importance of this issue and seek stronger laws.
Contact: Doll Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (662) 809-4483
In Defense of Animals has served animals and communities in the Deep South for 28 years. The organization carries out educational initiatives and directly rescues and rehomes abused, neglected. and homeless animals through its Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County, Mississippi. Its Justice for Animals campaign aids law enforcement and courts to prevent, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty, and works with legislators to both create and improve animal protection laws. www.idausa.org/justice4animals
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 37-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and its hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org
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