Several studies have shown the link (pdf) between violence toward animals and violence toward people, especially when children are involved, yet few laws recognize the connection.
New Jersey lawmakers are considering a groundbreaking law that would make it illegal to commit animal cruelty in the presence of a child. The bill on the table (A3555/S1161) would make it a crime to abuse or abandon an animal or engage in dogfighting or other animal fighting-related activities in front of anyone under 18 — whether the perpetrator knew they were underage or not. So, whatever crime was committed against animals, the charges would be enhanced if a minor was around.
This law could set a precedent for protecting both children and animals and could help break the cycle of abuse. Urge New Jersey lawmakers to support this legislation.
Photo credit: Leszek.Leszczynski