The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) which is part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has known for several decades that animal abuse is a precursor to domestic violence and most violent crimes. But bills like SB-162 that would make animal abuse a federal crime and impose stricter penalties on the abuser always seem to fail when they hit the Senate floor.
In a Blum report put out by the Center for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors in Columbus Nebraska stated, 75% of all women that enter into a domestic violence shelter are pet owners. 71% said their abuser either injured or killed their family pet. 88% of homes with prosecutable animal cruelty cases also have children who are being physically and/or sexually abused. In more than two-thirds of cases involving elder abuse, the perpetrator may neglect or physically abuse the elder’s pet as a form of control over that elder.
The Senate Bill 162, that was introduced back in 2007 by State Senators Fred Risser (D-26), Tim Carpenter (D-3), and Julie Lassa (D-24) would have made “harm or threat of harm” to an animal a form of domestic abuse and punishable at a federal level. The bill has been introduced on the Senate floor many times, but always fails to get the approved majority votes. So with proven statistics on the correlation between animal abuse escalating to human abuse, why would a bill like SB-162 fail?
The lobbying strength of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has killed this bill every time. According to the NRA, a person who is charged with domestic abuse would lose the ability to purchase or possess firearms. The NRA goes on to state, “The absurdity of SB 162 is that it not only equates animals to humans, but also does not define what “harm or threat of harm” is.” The NRA then continues it scare campaign by stating, “Animal “rights” extremists could argue that the training of hunting dogs or everyday treatment of dairy cattle constitutes abuse. A restraining order filed against you for common activities involving an animal will result in loss of your Second Amendment rights and a violation could put domestic abuse charges on your record.”
Animal abuse is at an all time record high in America, with the violence against animals becoming more violent and grotesque. The question that people should be asking is, “Would you want a person that abuses an animal to have the right to carry a firearm?”
There is a Petition 2 Congress asking President Obama and Congress to make animal cruelty a federal offense. If you would like to sign it click on the blue link.