When you think of a rescue organization, do you think of crime prevention?
Psychologists and other behavioral experts have long linked the behavior between abusive acts towards animals with abusive acts towards humans. In the dog world, dog aggression and human aggression are not connected with one another; in the human world, the connection is startlingly solid.
Law enforcement divisions have slowly but surely been opening up to voices from animal welfare enthusiasts. They are seeing the association between violent crimes with animals and criminal behavior. Preventing animal cruelty by teaching compassion and responsibility, as well as increasing punishment for violent acts against animals, can ultimately lead to less acts of violence and other forms of criminal activity.
In Charlotte’s neighboring town of Denver lies a staggering example of how violence begets violence. Timothy Scott Putt, convicted of killing a Jack Russell Terrier by slamming it to the ground, is a ticking time bomb. He has a history of assault, (including strangulation of a woman), kidnapping, larceny, assault with a gun, and several other offenses.
With the Queen city and her surrounding cities’ issues with dog fighting, one can imagine the scale of violence that our police department is up against.
David Berkowitz, (Son of Sam), Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer were all involved in horrendous acts of animal abuse; all were serial killers.
How do rescue organizations fit in the picture? Several groups are tackling animal abuse and neglect from the root of the problem; they are taking preventative measures against abuse as veterinarians practice preventative medicine against disease. The HSUS has a political foot in the door to help strengthen laws against Puppy Mills, Susie’s Law was just passed in North Carolina stiffening the reprimand for animal cruelty, the ASPCA has developed a veterinary forensics program in conjunction with the University of Florida, the American Pit Bull Foundation works with dog owners to teach compassion and promote responsible ownership, and the Knockout Dog Fighting Program created by Kris Krawford also heads up an anti-gang program. Charlotte also houses a program currently in place with the school system that works with children and animal care and compassion.
Preventing violence with animals will ultimately prevent violence with people. As rescue organizations and law enforcement agencies team up for a common purpose via different avenues, the results are collectively, overwhelmingly, beneficial to society as a whole.
The next time you see an advertisement for a rescue organization reaching out for help, remember how their work is linked with crime prevention. For the safety of your community’s well being, reach back.
Violence may beget violence, but kindness begets kindness, and kindness is a much bigger dog.