If you are an animal lover, then you have undoubtedly seen one of the numerous shows on TV that show the abuse and neglect some animals receive. This has been a big problem of our society for many years, and it wasn’t until recently that people started to notice it. Luckily, the constant battle to protect animals and raise awareness seems to be paying off. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has decided to add animal cruelty on its list of class A felonies! Homicide and arson are other felonies in this class, so we are quite happy to see that the FBI will treat animal cruelty more seriously from now on. It was about time if you ask us.
Cases of animal cruelty are divided into four different categories. The first category is neglect, where the animal’s caretaker doesn’t provide sufficient care for the animal. Intentional abuse and torture is the second category, while organized abuse, such as dog fighting, is the third category. Finally, the last category is the sexual abuse of animals, and the FBI will monitor all 4 categories alongside other serious crimes. For this purpose, FBI will enter data into the NIBRS (which is short for National Incident-Based Reporting System), which is a database that FBI utilizes in order to record national crimes.
FBI monitoring animal abuse will not only help to stop cases of animal abuse, it will also help to identify the people who might commit a violent act. According to a psychological study, around 70 percent of people who commit violent acts started off with animal abuse! Therefore, keeping track of these individuals will undoubtedly help law enforcement to prevent future abuse, as well as to track down areas and demographics with a high risk for violence.
Whether or not people care how animals are treated, people, such as judges, care about other people, and the information about the animal abuse is undeniable.
Animal abuse is already considered a felony in Washington D.C. and 13 other states. However, it was previously classified alongside other crimes, which made animal abuse cases quite hard to discern. This will hopefully change with the new policy of monitoring animal abuse, and it represents a ‘’huge policy shift and significant step forward’’, according to a lawyer of the Animal Defense League.
Even though this change was announced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation way back in 2014, it was not until January of 2016 they actually started to collect data. All of the information will become available for the public sometime during 2016.
Nonetheless, making animal abuse into a class A felony is definitely a step forward in the battle against the mistreatment of animals. It will take a lot of time, but we can all hope that one day all people will learn that animals are not supposed to be abused in any way.