To the Editor:
Re “Animal Abuse as Clue to Additional Cruelties” (news article, March 18):
As someone who deals with dozens of cruelty-to-animals cases every week, I applaud states that are imposing stricter penalties on people who hurt animals and that are working to establish online registries of animal abusers.
Animal abusers are cowards who take their issues out on “easy victims”—and their targets often include their fellow humans. I cannot begin to say how many incidents I’ve seen involving animal abusers who commit violent acts against humans, and animal neglecters who have also neglected their children or other human dependents.
Treating cruelty to animals with the seriousness it deserves doesn’t only protect animals, it also makes the entire community safer.
Norfolk, Va., March 18, 2010
The writer is director of the Emergency Response Team, cruelty investigations department, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.