FBI’s New Animal Cruelty Classification Program Begins Today

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1.1.16 - FBI’s New Animal Cruelty Classification Program Begins Today2


Beginning today, the FBI will initiate a new program targeting animal abusers.  Cruelty cases will be categorized and tracked, with the aim of cracking down on abusers.

Back in 2014, we told you about the FBI’s plan to make it harder for animal abusers to continue committing such crimes with minimal punishment.  Animal abuse has previously been considered a lesser crime, but now it will be a Group A felony with its own category, the same way homicide and arson are listed.

“It will help get better sentences, sway juries and make for better plea bargains,” said Madeline Bernstein, president and CEO of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles and a former New York prosecutor.

The FBI will now be better able to keep statistics on where cruelty is occurring, how frequently, and if incidents are on the rise.  Youthful offenders will be identified to help them curb their behavior.

The FBI says law enforcement agencies will have to make reports of incidents under four categories:  simple or gross neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse, including dogfighting and cockfighting; and animal sexual abuse.

“The immediate benefit is it will be in front of law enforcement every month when they have to do their crime reports,” said John Thompson, interim executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association who helped establish the new animal cruelty category. “That’s something we have never seen.”

Crimes will be tracked nationwide, and will hopefully ensure tougher sentences for abusers.

“Regardless of whether [or not] people care about how animals are treated, people — like legislators and judges — care about humans, and they can’t deny the data,” said Natasha Dolezal, director of the animal law program in the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Police agencies must now report all incidents and arrests.  The FBI will levy federal charges according to the offense – anything from fines to lengthy stays in prison.

446 thoughts on “FBI’s New Animal Cruelty Classification Program Begins Today”

  1. Check out 2 dogs at 214 Whiteley Drive in Corpus Christi . Tx. They are left out all year . One is chained and one is in a very small fenced area. The one chained has been chained it’s whole life . .years ! Please do something !

  2. Be careful people. Punishing dog abusers is a good thing, and possibly a good deterrent, but consider the way the FBI usually handles things. I am willing to bet that they really don’t care as much about animal safety as they care about getting prosecutions and convictions and beds filled in the prisons, along with supporting their judges, prosecutors, and various other public servants whom they keep “retained” with bribes. You will know the first time someone is jailed for “simple neglect” just for letting their dog’s toenails grow a little too long, or failing to get “Fluffy” groomed on time in the presence of a nosey and litigious neighbor who is hell bent on being a “hero”. “Dot it to Julia — just not her dog!”
    To those people, be very careful of your motivations if you turn someone in for animal abuse. Don’t take this lightly!
    Remember that for every slightly or momentarily forgetful dog owner who is needlessly arrested, another poor dog is uprooted and whisked off to the pound in hopes of being adopted before being euthanized, because his owner is in jail.
    Here’s an idea: If you are a negligent dog owner, consider re-homing your dog now, and getting a gun instead; the penalties for gun negligence are far less stringent.

  3. Will it require law enforcement to report on law enforcement officers who engage in animal cruelty? Which is epidemic in the LEO community. Not a day goes by without a story about police officers torturing animals too death for giggles.or even raping animals.

  4. THANK YOU FBI! This is brilliant, because animal abusers DEFINITELY have the mental propensity to be very dangerous people, such as people murderers and abusers of various kinds. Also abusing animals is so cowardly on top of being so evil and horrible.

  5. It is definitely a step in the right direction. But no amount of punishment is big enough for worthless animal abusers.


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