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Member's Press Release

Release Date: 02/18/2005
Contact: Senator John Yoder at (304) 357-7957

John Yoder

Proposed Senate Bill to Look at Connections between Animal Cruelty and Human Abuse

Understanding the correlation between animal cruelty and human abuse, Senator John Yoder (R-Jefferson) has introduced legislation which would require cross-reporting among child and adult protective service workers, law enforcement officers and humane officers of suspected child, elderly or animal abuse.

Recent reports of vicious animal cruelty cases across the state, including one where a man in Martinsburg tied a dog to a railroad track and another where a Kanawha County man disemboweled a dog to retaliate against the actions of his girlfriend, prompted Senator Yoder to introduce this measure.

“There are long standing studies that show the distinct correlation between animal cruelty and violence toward humans,” stated Senator Yoder. “This bill would require humane officers who respond to animal cruelty cases to notify the appropriate officials if there are signs of human abuse as well.”

The legislation also would place humane officers under provisions that mandate the reporting of suspected adult or child abuse and neglect.

“We need to look at violence at its root existence,” added Yoder. “If a person is abusing animals, then they will move on to abusing people. And if we can coordinate the efforts of our humane officers and law enforcement officers, along with protective services, then we will increase our chances of saving the lives of both people and animals.”
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