House legislation: Animal abuse, domestic violence are interrelated

House legislation: Animal abuse, domestic violence are interrelated

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Bulletin Report

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the state House of Representatives unanimously approved House Joint Memorial 6 requesting the the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) consider educating their providers on the connection between animal abuse and intra-family violence.

Rep. Jim Dines (R-Bernalillo) sponsored HJ6, which was proposed based on studies that have identified a link between animal abuse and violence against family members.  Individuals with a history of animal abuse are approximately three times more likely to commit a violent crime than non-animal abusers, and 76 percent of animal abusers also abuse other household members.

HJM 6 requests that CYFD and DPS consider training certain state workers on identifying the signs of animal cruelty in an effort to prevent other types of abuse such as domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse.

“Animal abuse is often a sign of other types of violent behavior,” said Dines. “With this memorial, hopefully we can train state employees on spotting possible signs of abuse and raise public awareness about the link between violence against pets and violence against people.”

HJM 6 will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

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