The Relationship Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence
In recent North Carolina news, a dog named Huey was brutally killed by one of his owners, a veteran with PTSD and the veteran’s boyfriend, who is currently on active duty in the military, according to The Fayetteville Observer. The couple shot the family dog 10 times, which they filmed each other doing. A friend later posted the video to Facebook, hoping that the two would face criminal charges for their actions. The dog was the emotional support animal of the woman who shot him, Marinna Rollins. The dog’s other owner, who was temporarily letting Rollins take care of the dog, is Rollins’ former husband, who asked that his and his estranged wife’s last names not be used out of fear of death threats from enraged social media users. Rollins and her boyfriend, who took part in the shooting, are out of jail on $25,000 bail. But what does this tragic story have to do with domestic violence? According to the Human Society of the United States, there is a strong correlation between domestic violence, or any violence against another human, and animal cruelty. A study by the Chicago Police Department found that 65 percent of those arrested for animal abuse crimes had also been arrested for battery of a human. When animal cruelty happens at home, the next victim could likely be the perpetrator’s partner, children, or other household relatives. Often, the abuse happens simultaneously.
Researching the Link Between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence
A “gold standard” study confirmed that pet abuse is one of four predictors of domestic violence. Additionally, the abuser may use pet abuse or threat of pet abuse to control their victim partner or spouse. A study found that in 71 to 83 percent of cases where women used domestic violence shelters, the abuser had also killed or abused the family pet. Likewise, another study found that in 88 percent of child abuse situations, the family pet was also abused. Evidence that abuse is happening in your home may stem from pet abuse or animal cruelty convictions of the abuser, because chances are that if you are a victim of domestic violence, your dog or cat most likely is too.
Bill to Establish National Pet Abuse Policy
The Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS) is designed to expand domestic violence protection laws to pets and to create a federal grant program for safe shelters. Bill S.322/H.R.909, if it becomes law, would also make it easier and more realistic for victims of domestic violence to flee from their dangerous situation and not have to leave their abused pet behind.
For Immediate Help, Contact a Charlotte Attorney Today
Whether you, your pet, or your child has been physically abused by your partner, you need to take action at once. Call the authorities and an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina domestic violence attorney today. The lawyers at Powers Landreth PLLC have vast trial experience and will work tirelessly to win your case and see that justice is served. Call us at 704-342-4357 today.