Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Severe Animal Cruelty in Ohio Emphasizes Importance Of Felony Animal Cruelty Law

Severe Animal Cruelty in Ohio Emphasizes Importance Of Felony Animal Cruelty Law
American Humane Calls for Citizen Action to Stop Animal Abuse; 
Urges Prosecution

PR Newswire - September 25, 2002

DENVER –– In response to the horrific abuse case of a young coon-hound mix, now being called Trooper, the American Humane Association today called on authorities in Ohio to take animal cruelty seriously and urged residents to report animal abuse. American Humane, the only national organization dedicated to both child and animal protection, made this call in light of growing research indicating that adults and children who are violent to animals have the capacity to also be violent to humans -- a correlation commonly referred to as the Link.

As reported in the Dayton Daily News, the puppy suffered third-degree burns deep into muscle tissue all over his body after someone viciously attacked the dog with what it believed to be a blow torch. The puppy, which has been named Trooper by Town and Country Veterinary Clinic and the Preble County Humane Society, is expected to recover after weeks of intensive care. A milestone was reached today when the young pup lay down to sleep for the first time.

"Trooper continues to amaze his caretakers by how affectionate and trusting he is despite the horrible betrayal he so recently experienced," said Jodi Buckman, American Humane's director of shelter services. "Knowing that this little dog still trusts people shows his remarkable loving spirit. Our hope is that this crime will spur Ohio into adopting a felony animal cruelty law."

In the event that the perpetrator is found guilty, American Humane recommends the sentence include psychological evaluation, followed by professional counseling and, if age appropriate, incarceration with rehabilitation. Authorities are also asked to immediately take any remaining animals into protective custody and prohibit the abuser from owning or harboring animals in the future.

Historically, animal and child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse have been treated as unrelated events. However, research continues to emerge indicating premeditated torture or killing of animals often occurs in conjunction with, or as a precursor to, other types of violent behavior, such as child abuse, domestic violence, gang activity, and even satanic ritual. The evidence is so overwhelming (see attached fact sheet) that 36 states and the District of Columbia currently have felony level convictions for serious acts of animal abuse. Ohio is not one of these states.

"We're not saying everyone who abuses animals will become a serial killer, but animal abuse is a warning that action is needed to stop the cycle of increasing violence," continued Buckman. "Animal abuse must be reported to local authorities. Perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions and treatment delivered. Not only do we owe it to the animals, we owe it to our community."

American Humane urges residents of Preble County to politely urge district attorney Rebecca Ferguson (937 456-8156) to actively prosecute the person responsible for this crime.

Founded in 1877, American Humane is the nation's only national organization dedicated to both child and animal protection. From its headquarters outside Denver, Colorado, and from regional offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, American Humane provides national leadership in the development of programs, policies, and services on behalf of children and animals who are abused and neglected. For more information on what to do if you suspect animal abuse, please visit .

SOURCE American Humane Association

CO: American Humane Association

ST: Colorado, Ohio


09/25/2002 19:33 EDT

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