As at 8.00pm today - 26 Sept 2007,
Adopt a Pet
JESSE, A 6 YEAR OLD YELLOW LABRADOR
MISHKA, YOUNG MALE CAT
As usual, there are many Malaysians who still have the "tidak apa" attitude and the "if it doesn't hurt me, why should I care?" mentality. While I laud all those who have come forward to speak for the animals in this country, there are many that need serious education about why animal abuse is unacceptable.
A person known as MyDogOnly (note that he/she didn't dare leave an email or web address) left a very interesting comment in my chatbox, and I quote:
You know, i dont understand why you rant so much about almost everything to do with dogs. I love dogs - my dogs. I cant care about strays. Who cares how MPS treats strays - shoot the dogs.
I am appalled that this kind of thinking came from a person who owns dogs... Animal creulty must be curbed and eradicated, otherwise we as a nation will be in for much bigger problems as I have mentioned in my previous post on Why the Dog Hunt Has to Stop:
Once we allow ourselves to think that such cruel acts are acceptable for they are just animals, it will be a matter of time before we will allow ourselves to be as barbaric towards our own kind... i.e. towards humans. As it is I believe our nation as a whole is already beginning to rot, for there is no compassion towards those that are weak and defenseless.
For those who still think that I am "ranting" about dogs and strays, think again... and take a look at some facts that the American Humane Society has gathered which shows clearly that there is a LINK between animal abusers and child abusers.
Understanding the Link® between violence to people and animals
Extracted from The American Humane Society
What is the Link?
A correlation between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence has been established. Child and animal protection professionals have recognized this Link, noting that abuse of both children and animals is connected in a self-perpetuating cycle of violence. When animals in a home are abused or neglected, it is a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe. In addition, children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.
How serious is it?
A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse and neglect found that animals were abused in 88% of homes where child physical abuse was present (DeViney, Dickert, & Lockwood, 1983). A study of women seeking shelter at a safe house showed that 71% of those having pets affirmed that their partner had threatened, hurt, or killed their companion animals, and 32% of mothers reported that their children had hurt or killed their pets (Ascione, 1998). Still another study showed that violent offenders incarcerated in a maximum-security prison were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty toward pets (Merz-Perez, Heide, & Silverman, 2001).
What’s being done?
In many communities, human services, animal services, and law enforcement agencies are sharing resources and expertise to address violence. Professionals are beginning to engage in cross-training and cross-reporting through interagency partnerships, and humane societies are teaming with domestic violence shelters to provide emergency shelter for pets of domestic violence victims.
In addition, some states have strengthened their animal cruelty legislation and taken other measures to address the Link. These state-level actions permit earlier intervention and send a clear message that all forms of violence are taken seriously. For example:
1. There are now felony-level penalties for animal cruelty in nearly all states.
2. Several states require veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse and offer veterinarians who report cruelty immunity from civil and criminal liability.
3. Some states require animal control officers to report suspected child abuse or neglect and receive training in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.
4. A few states permit child and adult protection workers to report suspected animal abuse or receive training on identifying and reporting animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect.
5. Nearly half the states call for psychological counseling for individuals convicted of animal cruelty.
Where does American Humane stand?
American Humane has been working to protect children and animals since 1877. For more than a decade, American Humane has been educating both the general public and professionals about the Link between violence to people and animals by:
1.Facilitating workshops to educate the public and build collaboration among human service, animal protection, public safety, and law enforcement professionals;
2. Administering the National Resource Center on the Link®, providing professional training at national conferences, and publishing resources and training guides;
3.Helping pass animal cruelty legislation, drafting crossreporting legislation, and testifying at both state and national levels; and
4. Contributing to the understanding of the Link through research on animal cruelty, its treatment in the criminal justice system, and detection by veterinarians.
American Humane asserts that the Link must be addressed and the following provisions must be implemented:
1. Cross-training and cross-reporting among law enforcement officers, humane investigators, veterinarians, health professionals, domestic violence advocates, and child protection workers;
2. Training and continuing education about the Link for judges and prosecutors;
3. Model legislation for cross-reporting and cross-reporting standards;
4. Systematic tracking of national animal abuse data;
5. Expanded research about the Link, including evaluation of prevention and intervention approaches;
6. Inclusion of animal-focused violence in standard assessments and intake forms for child protective services, mental health, and domestic violence workers; and
7. Community partnerships to respond to family violence and educate the public about taking all acts of violence seriously.
1. 71% of pet-owning women entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims; 32% reported their children had hurt or killed animals. 2. 68% of battered women reported violence towards their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women, and 75% in the presence of the children, to psychologically control and coerce them. 
3. 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence. 4. Between 25% and 40% of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets or livestock should they leave. [4,5,6]
5. Pets may suffer unexplained injuries, health problems, permanent disabilities at the hands of abusers, or disappear from home. 6. Abusers kill, harm, or threaten children’s pets to coerce them into sexual abuse or to force them to remain silent about abuse. Disturbed children kill or harm animals to emulate their parents’ conduct, to prevent the abuser from killing the pet, or to take out their aggressions on another victim. [8,9]
7. In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes. Domestic violence victims whose animals were abused saw the animal cruelty as one more violent episode in a long history of indiscriminate violence aimed at them and their vulnerability. 8. Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble. 
9. For many battered women, pets are sources of comfort providing strong emotional support: 98% of Americans consider pets to be companions or members of the family. 10. Animal cruelty problems are people problems. When animals are abused, people are at risk. 
*************************For more resources on the link between animal abusers and serial killers/rapists/family violence etc.
The Animal Liberation Front (ALF)
Society & Animals Forum