Animal Welfare groups should pay close attention to cases of child abuse

Jan 27, 2012

Facebook has been inundated with graphic stories and pictures of animal cruelty this week. Cruelty seems to be too tame a word for the suffering purposely inflicted on a powerless living being. It hit me like a ton of bricks again. The sickening waves travelled from the pit of my stomach to my heart. I couldn’t take any more. I took some much needed quiet time tonight and dug deep into the heart of the issue that so many Animal Group Facebook pages are not talking about;

Animal cruelty begins in a violent home.

It is often referred to as the “link.” Animal abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, elder abuse are all intertwined in the web of violence. Children who experience or witness abuse are at a high risk of perpetrating animal cruelty. Children who experience or witness violence are at high risk of becoming violent offenders. Children who experience or witness abuse need caring communities who will help them heal and break the cycle of violence.

The Facebook pages are calling for punishment to the full extent of the law.

I agree.

The Facebook pages are calling for our outdated animal cruelty laws to be updated

I agree.

The Facebook pages are missing two important pieces:

(1) Children in violent homes need protection and early intervention

(2) Animal welfare and child welfare agencies need to collaborate

I call on all animal welfare/protection/rescue groups to remember our history. Animal protection agencies began as child protection agencies. Please include children in all your humane activities. By helping a child, you will be helping an animal.