Be An Advocate for Animals in Harris County and Across Texas
Did you know that animal abuse, cruelty, neglect, and abandonment are crimes that are punishable by law? In 2020, the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce, an organization that Houston PetSet and Crime Stoppers of Houston helped establish, received 4,881 reports of such offenses.
This statistic is significant not just because it is disturbing that animals are being harmed at an alarming rate, but also because there is a proven correlation between crimes against animals and crimes against humans. According to the National Link Coalition, “animal abuse is ‘the tip of the iceberg’: the way animals are regarded in a family is a window into interpersonal relationships and family dynamics. Investigators who find animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect are rarely surprised to see other issues lurking beneath the surface.”
Unfortunately, animals do not have a voice to use to speak for themselves, so they are an easy target for offenders to begin their abuse with; the offender learns to assert their dominance and, if they are not stopped, can progress to hurting children and other adults. In fact, a 1997 study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Northeastern University found that animal abusers are five times as likely to also harm other humans.
For example, in December of 2019, a Houston man was sentenced to six years in prison for stomping his ex-girlfriend’s cat to death. This came just three years after he was convicted for the injury of an elderly person when he assaulted his 72-year-old great-grandmother.
In a quote from the Houston Chronicle’s article regarding the matter, the prosecuting lawyer stated, “This is a case that shows the direct link between animal abuse and violence toward other people,” Jessica Milligan [head of the animal cruelty section at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office] said. “Someone who can hurt his own great-grandmother, then kill a cat in a domestic dispute is someone who is capable of violent behavior against people, including children, in the future.”
If you suspect you have witnessed animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, or abandonment, please file a report with the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce at 927paws.org, the Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722, or the Houston Police Department at 713-884-3131. After you have submitted your report, leave the investigation and prosecution to the experts. The location of your report is considered the scene of a potential crime and must be left untouched and uninterrupted.
Each day we are making strides towards strengthening laws to protect animals. If you are interested in learning more about how you can become an advocate #ForTheAnimals, please visit Houston PetSet’s website at houstonpetset.org.
Posted byon 5 Feb 2021