It's caught the eye of law enforcement, a deadly link between animal abuse and domestic violence. Nearly two-thirds of American homes have pets. The love for pets can be used against domestic violence victims when abusers see it as a means of power and control.
City of Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck says seventy-one percent of domestic violence victims report their abuser targeted their pet. "Eighty percent of homes where abused or neglected pets were found also had previous investigations by child welfare agencies of physical abuse and neglect," said Meck. An estimated one million animals are abused or killed each year in connection with domestic violence.
"Animal abuse should be seen as a red flag for family violence," said Mesa Assistant City Prosecutor Alison Ferrante. Ferrante is calling on law enforcement, prosecutors and judges to implement stadard operating procedures in dealing with animal abuse.