Address animal abuse, reduce people violence

Rep. Diana Urban has introduced a bill that would help reduce violence against people by prosecuting animal abusers.

HB 6690 would establish a process for appointing a University of Connecticut law student to advocate on behalf of animals during criminal court proceedings. HB 6690 would compel the judicial system to take animal abuse seriously.

Numerous studies have verified a strong link between violent behavior towards people and the abuse and torture of animals. Currently, only 16 percent of animal cruelty cases in Connecticut result in a guilty finding (2013 OLR report/2013-R-0148). What becomes of the 86 percent? Those abusers get away with their crime. Furthermore, with no criminal record, those who torture an animal can apply for jobs anywhere, unencumbered, even at your child's daycare.

By identifying violent individuals, we can remove criminals from our neighborhoods and prevent future crimes. We can also be proactive, requiring psychiatric treatment for abusers before they progress to people.

With HB 6690, animal advocates would be volunteers and would therefore cost the taxpayer nothing.

We can punish the guilty, treat the mentally ill, and curb crime by contacting our state representatives and senators and urging them to co-sponsor HB 6690 (www.cga.ct.gov).

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