The Importance of Cross-Reporting Animal and Human Violence

OAA MISSION AREA:  Pet Protection

ACTION LEVEL: State, Ohio House Bill (HB) 33

Please help stop abuse

Cross-reporting presupposes that family violence—domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and animal cruelty—rarely occurs in a vacuum. Often, these crimes are “red flags” that other forms of violence have occurred, or will. It is why animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect are frequently the first link in the chain of family violence.

Human and animal lives will be saved when animal control, humane law enforcement officers, and social service professionals observe and report signs of possible abuse to a child, older adult, or animal. Overall, this will help prevent the escalation of violence in the household.

In Ohio, humane officers are required by current Ohio law to report child maltreatment, elder abuse or domestic violence to family services. But currently, no such requirements are in place to report animal abuse. Ohio House Bill 33 would require professions such as social service professionals and veterinarians to report animal abuse when they suspect it.

H.B. 33 passed out of the House in June and had a sponsor hearing July 21, 2020.  Contact your senator TODAY and ask him to support it.  We need to get it passed out of the Senate and to the Governor’s desk to sign by December 31, 2020.

We’ve provided a sample letter below to make it easier to contact your state senator. Simply copy and paste, modify as you wish, and send. Easy as texting? It can be. You may also text “resist” to 50409 and Resistbot will contact your state senator for you after taking you through some quick and easy Q&A steps—all via text. With Resistbot, we recommend that you use only short excerpts from the sample below. Now, let’s do this.

Dear Senator _______ ,

As your constituent, I urge you to support H.B. 33 which would require social service professionals and veterinarians to report animal abuse to humane agents and mandates animal control officers to report child abuse. H.B. 33 passed out of the House in June with a vote of 89-2, and is scheduled for the first hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee on July 21, 2020..

H.B. 33 not only protects companion animals from abuse, but also adds another tool through which domestic abuse can be identified and stopped. There is undeniable evidence demonstrating a link between animal abuse and violence towards humans. One study found that 70% of people charged with cruelty to animals were known by police for other violent behavior–including homicide. Another study found that 61.5% of animal abuse offenders had also committed an assault, 17% had committed sexual abuse, and 8% had arson convictions.

These statistics highlight the critical need for this legislation. Those who harm animals tend to harm others. The implementation of cross-reporting mechanisms and procedures will increase the flow of information which can be an essential tool to stop family violence. Please support and help to pass H.B. 33. Thank you for your consideration of this issue.

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