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Animal Cruelty Tracking By FBI
1/7/2016 12:40:17 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Be careful what you asked for! Y’all have been asking for colder weather and now it’s here but I have a hot topic that should warm you up a bit. What do y’all think of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) getting involved in animal cruelty tracking?

According to a recent article that appeared in the Post and Courier, the FBI will add animal cruelty tracking to their already back logged of “things to do list”.

I am sure animal lovers will welcome this new tracking intervention by the FBI but this should be left up to local and state government. Before you animal lovers jump all over this, I love “most” animals but I think the FBI needs to stay in its lane. The Bureau has enough on its plate without getting involved in a national tracking effort of animal abusers.

Local animal cruelty directors think there is a direct correlation between violent crimes and animal abuse so the data collected by the FBI will be helpful in animal cruelty cases and in domestic violence cases as well. The heart of the matter is if someone beats their animal he/she in many instances will display violent behavior towards their partner. The directors may be on to something but I don’t think the FBI tracking is the answer. The FBI needs to spend more time tracking violent criminals, drug pushers, illegal guns and hate persons or groups intent on killing Americans.

What in the hamsandwich is the FBI thinking of? Since animal tracking seems a little farfetched and out of its league, I thought I would turn to the internet for help. According to the, “Effective in 2016, the FBI will require law enforcement agencies throughout the United States to report animal abuse in four distinct categories, (1) intentional abuse and torture; (2) simple or gross neglect; (3) organized abuse including dogfighting and cockfighting and (4) animal sexual abuse.

During my research, officials and animal protection advocates just may be onto something. Wayne Parcell, President & CEO of the Humane Society of the United States described an important study done in 1997 showing a connection between animal abuse and crimes against society. The study showed that “between 71 and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partner had threatened, injured or killed the family pet.” It went on to say that, “It doesn’t take much to comprehend the link between animal cruelty and human violence.”

I also went straight to the horse’s mouth (no pun intended)—the FBI site confirms they will begin collecting data on animal cruelty in 2016 after collaborating with the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Animal Welfare Institute.

Animal cruelty is a serious matter but so is tracking unsolved criminal cases. I just think with the limited manpower and additional costs to taxpayers, animal cruelty tracking can be accomplished by local and state law enforcement officials working collaboratively with animal protection agencies and advocates.

Animal cruelty also has a poverty element attached to it the same as domestic violence. South Carolina is second in the nation for the number of homicides caused by domestic violence. South Carolina also has a high unemployment rate.

According to the 2014 South Carolina Witness Story Report on Domestic Violence, 39 persons were murdered, 29 women and 10 males, 54% White, 44% Black and 2% Hispanic. The statistics are very alarming and more needs to be done to prevent and reduce domestic violence. I also agree that more needs to be done to protect animals but disagree on the FBI involvement.

The laws on the books relating to domestic violence and animal abuse need a thorough review; but, until then don’t y’all even think about kicking the dog or your partner “to the curb”. You just might end up in jail.

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