Oklahoma Link Coalition
THE LINK BETWEEN ANIMAL AND HUMAN ABUSE
THE LINK BETWEEN ANIMAL AND HUMAN ABUSE
News Channel 6 in Tulsa featured the Oklahoma Link Coalition and several of its members in law enforcement regarding several recent local cases. Click here to watch the video!
CRAIG COUNTY, Oklahoma -Statistics show more than 70 percent of domestic abuse survivors claimed their partner harmed or killed animals to intimidate them. Some Oklahoma sheriff's offices are teaming up to raise awareness about the link.
Investigator Frank Miller says he remembers the day he walked onto a property in rural Craig County and found more than 10 dead dogs and several others that were severely malnourished.
"In my 26 years of law enforcement, this is the worst case I've ever seen. Conditions were absolutely deplorable. No food or water.” said Miller
Glenn Ranay Davidson was sentenced on 3 felony counts of animal abuse. Investigators say a registered sex offender also listed that address as his home.
"We have direct ties linking the sexual abuse of a child to the home where there was heinous animal cruelty," said Miller.
Oklahoma is one of two states in the country that is working to raise awareness about the link between animal cruelty and family violence. The Craig County Sheriff's Office along with their neighbors in Ottawa County were two of the first agencies to jump on board.
“If we can see a pattern of animal abuse at an early stage then we can correct that before it becomes a major problem.” Said Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd.
Research shows that abusers often kill or harm pets to orchestrate fear which could mean that there are other types of abuse in the home.
“We want to get the animals out of that situation then we want to start looking deeper into why is this person abusing that particular animal,” said Floyd
Across the US, 71% of battered women reported that their abusers had harmed, killed or threatened animals to coerce or humiliate them.
Local Shelters say they see the impact that abuse has first-hand but they believe the public can play a big role in helping stop it.
“If you just look for the signs and report it when you do see those signs it can help,” said Brittany Browne for the City of Miami.
And Sheriff Floyd hopes this will encourage other law enforcement agencies to jump on board.
“We want this to be a great program that will not only help the pets but the people involved,” said Floyd.
Click on the link below to view the video!
OKLAHOMA CASES HIGHLIGHT LINK BETWEEN
ANIMAL ABUSE AND FAMILY VIOLENCE
Communities called to take animal cruelty more seriously
OKLAHOMA CITY–Several recent incidents in Oklahoma show the clear link between animal cruelty and escalating acts of violence against other members of a family or community.
As this connection becomes harder to dismiss, communities around the country, including in Oklahoma, are taking animal cruelty more seriously. Several animal cruelty investigations in the last year in Oklahoma County have resulted in harsher convictions and sentencing. In December, an offender received an eight-year prison sentence after officers discovered starving and neglected dogs in his care. In February, another received a twenty-year suspended sentence, has to spend weekends in county jail, and is banned from owning animals for not providing shade or water for his dogs, which resulted in animal death. In January, yet another perpetrator of felony animal cruelty received a year in county jail, plus a five-year suspended sentence and 160 hours of community service. These acts were in conjunction with other offenses, which is consistent with the proven link between animal abuse and other crimes. Addressing these acts of maltreatment toward animals leads to more protected families, safer communities, and less violence in our state.
Other communities are joining the movement to recognize that animal abuse isn’t just about an animal victim. Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd started a unit in November 2017 specifically to address animal abuse, citing “the link” as a significant reason. Roger Nagl, a deputy with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, states that “animal abuse has been a topic that has been brushed aside for quite sometime now. The damage goes a lot further than just the animals being abused. A perfect example in Oklahoma is how domestic violence victims have stated over and over that their abuser has abused the victim’s pets before abusing them or threatened to abuse the animals if the victim tries to leave the situation or speak to anyone about it.” According to Nagl, funding and training are two major issues, and the Ottawa County and Craig County Sheriff’s Offices, the Oklahoma Link Coalition, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States are taking steps to create a training module to provide law enforcement and prosecutors the education and resources needed to combat this growing problem.
One response to this growing issue is the Oklahoma Link Coalition, a network of over 250 Oklahoma professionals and concerned citizens that seeks to promote awareness, education, and action around the link between animal abuse and family and community violence. The Oklahoma Link Coalition will hold its next meeting Friday, July 20 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. Professionals and community members from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend, and can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch will be provided.