A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Feb 27, 2013

If You Don't Believe In The Link Between Domestic Violence And Animal Cruelty-Read This

courtesy spcaLA

If you don't believe in the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty-read this:

Excerpts From spcaLA Press Release:

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) investigation and supporting evidence led to a felony animal cruelty conviction against Terrance Hawkins of Los Angeles, after he threw his girlfriend’s dog out of a 5th story window during an argument.

Bizzie, the beloved American Eskimo dog of Hawkins’ girlfriend, succumbed to his injuries and perished after twelve days in intensive veterinary care.

“Where domestic violence is present, animal cruelty and child abuse can usually be found - we call it ‘The Link,’” said spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein.  “The cycle of violence continues until it is broken by law enforcement, education or other intervention.”

spcaLA offers the Animal Safety Net (ASN) ™ program which provides free boarding and veterinary care for the animals of domestic violence victims at an undisclosed location, so they may flee a dangerous situation without fear for the safety of their pets.  Case workers and victims can call 888-527-7722 for more information about ASN.

spcaLA also offers internationally recognized violence-prevention programs – like Teaching Love and Compassion(TLC)™ for at-risk youth and jTLC™, a court-mandated condition of probation for some juvenile offenders.  spcaLA’s Humane Education initiatives are aimed at breaking the cycle of violence and restoring empathy where it is lacking.

For more information about the Link, Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC)™ or Animal Safety Net (ASN)™ visit www.spcaLA.com. 

Humane Officers responded to an anonymous tip from the spcaLA Animal Cruelty Tip Line.  To report animal cruelty, call the spcaLA Animal Cruelty Tip Line at 1-800-540-SPCA (7722) or report online at www.spcaLA.com.

Any questions?

Feb 6, 2013

Violent Behavior-Heed the Early Warning Signs

courtesy spcaLA
Against a landscape of mounting gun violence, our nation is finally willing to look at the issue of gun safety in a comprehensive manner. To that end, universal background checks, bans on high capacity magazines and gun/gun owner data bases are options on the table designed to manage who can obtain a weapon and what to do with that knowledge. However, the root causes of violence, whether attributed to mental illness, bullying, random circumstances of nature and nurture must also be studied so that they may be mitigated. We would be remiss in our duties if we did not point out that there are glaring symptoms and tangible early warning signs of future violent behavior that can be detected now, with or without new legislation, and successfully treated with early intervention - sometimes as early as pre-school age.

 According to the FBI, the three behaviors most credited as precursors to committing violent acts are pyromania, enuresis (excessive bed-wetting) and animal cruelty. spcaLA is primarily focused on the third behavior. Deriving pleasure from causing an animal pain can be seen even in very young children. As children are not born violent, (true sociopaths notwithstanding) such behavior towards an animal is abnormal and indicative of a problem in the home that is either directed at or witnessed by the child. If not treated, and the cause not explored, that person will become desensitized to suffering and may continue to use the infliction of pain on other living things as a way to control his or her surroundings.

spcaLA (not affiliated with any other spca as there is no national/umbrella spca) has a series of core programs designed to intervene and prevent animal abuse as well as to deter violence towards people. They comprise a court mandated alternative sentencing course for juvenile offenders convicted of bullying, animal abuse or other violent crimes, an internationally acclaimed "at risk" youth program where schools target certain students to participate in the program, and one assisting victims of domestic violence and their pets where immediate help is mandated. The point is that the earlier the warning signs are recognized, the greater the chances of successful intervention, behavior modification and the abatement of future violent behavior.

The secret to the cure is for teachers, parents, social workers, and others in contact with our youth to know and recognize the symptoms. If you see animal cruelty, report it and seek help.

I can’t tell you how often I am told by a parent “It’s just a dog. You should be happy it’s not a person.”

 Next time it will be.