Increasing Prosecution of Animal Cruelty: Talking Points

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Protect Animals to Protect People

Very few people will argue that people who abuse animals shouldn’t be punished. What it comes down to is resources. People will argue that money is better spent on prosecuting “more serious” criminals. These talking points help you explain why that kind of thinking is wrong and dangerous for your community.

So, when someone says, “There are more important things for the police to worry about than animal cruelty.” You can say:

  • Cruelty to animals leads to violence against people. Simply put, people who hurt animals are more likely to hurt people.
  • Studies have found that if animals are being abused in a home, it’s more likely that child abuse, elder abuse, or domestic violence is also happening. Law enforcement can better uncover these crimes if animal cruelty is taken seriously.
  • Ignoring animal cruelty today creates more violence in the future. Children who witness animal abuse are eight times more likely to abuse animals as teens or adults.
  • Animal cruelty by children is a sign of serious mental disturbance. It has to be taken seriously and early intervention is key.
  • In 2016, the FBI raised the status of animal cruelty cases to Class A felonies, the same category as murder and arson. The FBI recognizes that animal cruelty needs to be taken seriously.

“It’s a crime against society… By paying attention to [these crimes], we are benefiting all of society.”

– John Thompson, deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association

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