FVP Module 6 Animal Abuse

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animal abuse: 

HSA-SAS mod6animal.ppt (5/07) animal abuse Merced County Animal Control module 6 Family Violence Protocol Integrated Training for Law Enforcement, Social Services, and Advocates


Contents The Link Defined Laws Is it Abuse? Reporting Who and What Cross-Reporting

The Link: 

The Link

Between Animal & Human Abuse: 

Between Animal & Human Abuse Research shows strong correlation between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. Seventy-five percent of violent offenders have early records of animal cruelty. Animal abuse is a warning sign that people in the home may not be safe.

More on the Link: 

More on the Link Child witnesses to animal abuse are also at greater risk of becoming abusers themselves. Penal Code 11199 allows employees of county child and adult protective service agencies to report suspected animal abuse for investigation. However, there are no laws mandating reporting animal abuse.

More on the Link: 

More on the Link Law enforcement, social workers, domestic violence advocates, health providers, veterinarians, and animal control officers all need to understand the link between animal abuse and other forms of family violence.



Legal Definition: 

Legal Definition California Penal Code defines animal cruelty as the malicious or intentional maiming, mutilation, torture, or wounding of a living animal. Any person who: Overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary food, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. It is a misdemeanor to: Own, possess, keep, or train a dog with the intent to engage the animal in exhibition fighting. Be knowingly present as a spectator at an exhibition of fighting dogs. Willfully abandon any animal.

Assessing Animal Abuse: 

Assessing Animal Abuse Identifying animal abuse or neglect can be difficult. Look at the entire situation to determine if an animal is being abused or neglected, and ascertain whether the abuse is intentional or malicious. What seems like neglect may not fall within the legal definition of animal abuse.

California 2007 Law Updates: 

California 2007 Law Updates It is illegal to tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog to a dog house, tree, fence, or any other stationary object. (H&S § 122335, New) Animal and cock fighting punishments are increased. (P.C. § 597b, Amended) It is illegal to leave an animal in an unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger its health or well-being. (P.C. § 597.7 New)

Is it Abuse?: 

Is it Abuse? A neighbor keeps his dog on a cable day and night in the backyard. As long as the dog has food, water, and shelter, this does not fall within the legal definition of cruelty. The horse in the neighboring field stands in the wind and rain all day. As long as the horse has food, water, and a place to stand up, and can turn around and lie down in an area not covered in water, this does not fall within the legal definition of cruelty. A neighbor is shooting cats with a pellet gun. This is at least a misdemeanor and may be charged as a felony.

What to Do: 

What to Do If it seems a dog or cat has been poisoned: Take them to the vet immediately. Save any food products that may have been thrown over the fence that they may have eaten; it can be important evidence. A toxicology analysis will need to be done on the animal to determine why it got sick or died before cruelty can be proven. If a situation is unhealthy for an animal, but does not fall within the legal definition of animal abuse, approach the owner and suggest different approaches to how they treat their pet.



Reporting to Animal Control: 

Reporting to Animal Control If the incident is within city limits, contact that city's police department. If the reported incident occurs outside of city limits, contact County Animal Control. County Animal Control handles calls to the unincorporated area and has agreements to work within the cities if child or adult protective services is involved. County Animal Control officers are sworn law enforcement personnel.

Reporting (Continued): 

Reporting (Continued) Report details so that Animal Control can investigate. Ask other witnesses to also report. Do not wait until an animal's life is in danger. If you suspect abuse, document it and report it to law enforcement.

What to tell Animal Control: 

What to tell Animal Control WHAT is happening may include information about an animal's physical condition and/or an act that was committed against the animal. WHO is committing the offense. Give the name and description of the person or persons, car, and license plate number. WHERE is the incident occurring. Give a specific location, including address and cross streets. WHEN did the incident occur. Give the date and time.


Cross-Reporting Animal Control officers are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. If Animal Control sees children are possibly neglected or abused, it is cross-reported to CWS If Animal Control sees an elderly person or dependent adult may have been abused or neglected, it is cross-reported to APS

Know that . . .: 

Know that . . . A Woman’s Place does not allow animals in shelters. Foster parents do not allow pets. Animal Control may be able to find a short-term animal foster home. Releasing the animal to Animal Control is an option. Law enforcement should contact Animal Control while on scene.

Module 6 Animal Abuse: 

Module 6 Animal Abuse Presented by: Art Ferrario Merced County Animal Control Contact Information: 209-385-7436 or 209-564-2262 Family Violence Protocol Integrated Training for Law Enforcement, Social Services, and Advocates

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