ANIMALS AND THE POLICE:
much more than mascots
The partnership between the equine / canine / human species, their benefits for the maintenance of social order and public security and the role of police forces in education for the respect of animals and their responsible possession.
ErasmodeOliveira is an internationally renowned researcher and is part of the HABRI ™ database (Human-Animal Bond Research Institute), maintained by Purdue Unversity (Indiana / USA) and is also a local supporter of Earth Day, maintained by Stanford University (California /USA).
Journalist, lecturer and legalist activist of the animal cause, in continuity of the social-environmental work initiated by his father, São Paulo State Police Sergeant Nardino Francisco de Oliveira, who dedicated himself to the benevolence and the assistance of abandoned animals and in a situation of abuse for seventy years, being honored by the Municipality of São Paulo (Brazil) with the name of a square dedicated to his memory.
ErasmodeOliveira is the author of hundreds of books and articles about the bond between humans and animals, texts which are free of copyright, given free of charge for publication in any media, aiming at the dissemination of a culture of peace and respect for animals. In parallel, ErasmodeOliveira has the habit of suggesting laws of interest to animals, having gratefully accepted the role of spokesman for our four-legged brothers, honoring to the surname Francisco, the saint protector of animals.
This present article seeks to show the close partnership existing between Human Beings and animals, notably horses and dogs, who have been companions in uniforms of armies and security forces throughout the world, from the cavalry regiments and the Legion chariots Roman, to this day. Likewise, sniffer dogs have been key players in drug seizures and rescue of people in collapsed buildings, disappeared in forests and in so many situations where the human element cannot do without the support of the canine sense of smell, as well as their fidelity and dedication to work.
The TV constantly shows us sniffer dogs looking for victims under rubble or finding drugs hidden in places where a human police officer would not find them alone, without the support of police K9. Cavalry regiments are still very useful in the 21st century, for the containment of urban disturbances and for various situations of ostensive patrol, where the simple presence of the horse imposes order and respect. All the technology and electronic paraphernalia of today, is replaced by the traditional four-legged policeman, who has always been orderly for the maintenance of the law and order.
Nobody discusses the usefulness of this support force and each barrack that has a mascot, knows that that K9 policeman brings morale to the troops, his simple presence humanizes the barracks environment and helps to reduce the stress inherent in police activity. A lecture for students will never be complete if it does not include an exhibition of animals trained to exercise the police function, if the intention is to bring the civilian public closer to police activities, a K9 demonstration will be the highlight of the event and will forever fix the image of “protecting and serving” in the minds of children, creating good citizens and encouraging the vocation of future police officers.
Respect for animals brings with it a magnificent side effect, of great interest to the security forces: by inhibiting in children some feeling of hostility towards pets, respect for life is thus encouraged. If a future serial killer was being born, by sowing the seed of love for animals, in parallel mental disarmament is encouraged, it is shown that the blood spilled from a living being is similar to that of another, even if from species many different. Whoever mistreats or respects an animal in childhood, will set an example for adult life, responsible ownership being a watershed between a good citizen or a serial killer.
Encouraging the civilian population to buy feed instead of ammunition can be apparently simple or even useless, a waste of resources, but the experience of Firefighters, once employed in the prevention of accidents, shows how much education can be a great investment. Time is the best teacher and everyone who values the maintenance of life must be interested in spreading the idea of love to animals, as it generates social peace, by acting from the family nucleus and the root of socio-environmental problems, educating children and their families for a culture of peace. It starts in the family and spreads through society as a whole, bringing long-term intangible profit.
The adoption and responsible possession of street animals is the great social remedy dreamed by everyone, a minimal investment, spread across all social strata, available free of charge on any street or corner on the planet, just being willing to open the gate and welcome a new one. friend. Without a penny of public funds, each family that adopts an animal, removing it from the streets, will be avoiding zoonoses and traffic accidents (running over animals are very common and cause chain accidents, piling up, collisions, in short, no animal place is wandering the streets and roads). Note the scale of a single act, multiplied by millions!
One family removes a dog from the streets, another family removes a cat, in each block, ten animals stop roaming the street. Immediately – and without a single cent of public money – each family invests a small sum in the castration of the new member of the home, buys him a collar, a feeder, a packet of food and gives him a good bath to celebrate his arrival. This simple gesture generates jobs, especially for young people who enter the job market and can be pet store clerks, can pick up and take animals for baths and veterinary consultations, assist in baths, in delivering rations at home, in short, at the very neighborhood where they live, they can become citizens.
The silent effect is that pedestrians being run over and fighting in the streets are no longer there. There are no longer animals crossing the middle of the cars inadvertently, being attacked, causing discomfort with their appearance of abandonment (which reminds us that they are similar to us and that the breed animal in a street situation is the portrait of a great executive who is liable to sleep in the open and stay without a bath for a few days). The jobs that arise and the feeling of wanting to return home at the end of the day and reunite with the family, a living being who is happy with the tutor’s presence and who may be his only reference in terms of human warmth, even if seem like a paradox.
Our time has been one of transformation. Families are becoming increasingly small and the number of people living alone is constantly increasing. An animal playing around the house can prevent suicide, a crisis of depression, stress, hypertension, diabetes. A meow or bark can prevent a visit to the public hospital, a missed work. Playing ball with the cat or walking the dog can be the physical activity that the individual lacks and that can prevent a heart attack. Furthermore, the look of the animal may mean that someone cares and give a new spirit to those who were about to give up.
We are talking about relieving hospitals, firefighters, police, doctors, jailers, saving millions in public funds, avoiding expenses with vehicles, prisons, in addition to the waste of human lives, which would be dedicated to crime and unproductive leisure. Taking care of a pet is a factor in increasing self-esteem, improves the morale and motivation of any person. It makes the individual feel important in someone’s life. It may mean arriving early and feeding your friend, instead of having another drink and putting dozens of drivers and pedestrians at risk. It is a chain effect that only brings benefits and that starts with the sad look of an abandoned angel that touches someone’s heart.
Whoever respects life, respects all its forms. It is the elderly person who no longer needs asylum, as he is cared for by the family, he is the child who is no longer abandoned in a rubbish dump, he is the son who obeys his parents, because he taught obedience to the dog, he is the citizen who throws garbage in the appropriate place, poia learned to collect the pet’s feces, it is the couple who converse instead of fighting, as they learned in childhood to patiently teach the kitten to make their needs in the litter box. The teenage daughter does not need to get pregnant to know how the life cycle is, as she saw a puppy giving birth and breastfeeding. He did not need a human teacher to teach the theory of evolution, as he saw the light of Creation in the eyes of his paw friend.
Responsible possession causes the idea of beginning, middle and end to be instilled in children, the law of cause and effect, the feeling of group. He will be an adult more aware of his rights and duties, the young person who is taking care of a pet, instead of going to a funk dance and delegating to the State the responsibility of providing him with leisure. One will not victimize and regret the lack of opportunity, whoever understands that an animal is born and dies without accumulating material goods, and even so, the latter curses his parents for having only the clothes on his back. Most likely, a child living with a mongrel (mixed breed) animal will be more likely to accept differences from their peers, fighting bullying, bullying, mobbing and racism.
Several studies show a close relationship between the commission of crimes against people and against animals, whoever commits one, commits another, begins their criminal life by mistreating animals in childhood and continues to deepen their malice, aggravating crimes. Is there a connection between animal abuse and criminal violence?
A 2001-2004 study by the Chicago Police Department “revealed a surprising propensity for offenders accused of crimes against animals to commit other violent crimes against human victims”. Of those arrested for animal crimes, 65% were arrested for assaulting another person. Of the 36 convicted multiple murderers questioned in one study, 46% admitted to committing acts of animal torture as teenagers. And of seven school shootings that took place across the country between 1997 and 2001, all involved boys who had committed acts of cruelty to animals.
How does animal abuse relate to domestic abuse?
Pet abuse is one of four predictors of domestic violence by partners, according to a six-year “gold standard” study conducted in 11 metropolitan cities. In situations of domestic violence and child abuse, aggressors can manipulate and control their human victims through real or threatened violence against family pets. The researchers found that between 71 and 83% of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family’s pet. And another study found that in families under supervision for physical abuse of their children, abuse of pets was simultaneous in 88% of families.
Can animal neglect indicate abuse for people?
The abuse of animals in the form of neglect is often one of the first indicators of suffering in the family. Whether for lack of empathy, mental illness or substance abuse, a person who fails to provide minimal care for the family pet is more likely to neglect the basic needs of other family dependents. In many cases, children found living in the misery of abandoned animals are taken to an orphanage. Animal accumulation is an extreme example of how life-threatening neglect affects people and animals. When an animal accumulation situation is discovered, unhealthy conditions and lack of care may have killed a large number of animals and compromised the health of dependent children or elderly people in the home.
Is animal abuse in children normal?
No. Children who abuse animals are sending clear warning signs that they pose a risk to themselves and others. The National School Security Council, the US Department of Education, the American Psychological Association and the National Crime Prevention Council all agree that animal cruelty is a warning sign for young people at risk. Studies show that chronic physical aggression (eg, cruelty to animals) by elementary school boys increases the likelihood of committing continued physical violence, as well as other non-violent forms of delinquency during adolescence.
A child who abuses animals may also be acting against violence in his own home. Professional intervention can remove a child from a potentially abusive situation and divert him from future abusive behavior. Experts agree that the early prevention and treatment of animal cruelty is the key to breaking the cycle of violence because, as aggressive children grow up, they are less receptive to therapeutic intervention.
How does stopping animal abuse affect other problems?
Reporting, investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty can help get dangerous criminals off the streets. The police know that in homes where animal abuse is a problem, other issues are often concurrent. Animal cruelty acts are linked to a variety of other crimes, including violence against people, property crimes and disorderly or drug offenses. Stopping animal abuse in children can help stem violent trends before they escalate to include violence against people.
There are laws or policies that address the connection between animal abuse and other violences?
Several US states have cross-notification laws, which require social workers, veterinarians or doctors who find child abuse suspects to report it. In San Diego (California), social workers must report suspected cases of animal abuse to animal control authorities. At least thirteen states have laws that allow courts to include pets in temporary restraining orders in situations of domestic violence. At least twenty-eight states have provision for counseling in their animal cruelty laws. Four of these states require psychological counseling for anyone convicted of animal cruelty and six mandates for youths convicted of animal cruelty.
What can I do to help?
You can help stop the cycle of violence by recognizing that animal abuse is an indicator of serious problems. Reporting animal abuse can help authorities stop other types of violence and vice versa. Encouraging law enforcement and local prosecutors to take animal crimes seriously is the key to creating safer communities. Animal cruelty in children should not be taken lightly. Children who abuse animals should receive immediate professional psychological intervention, both for their own well-being and for the community.
Tracking animal cruelty - FBI collecting data on animal crimes
Animal cruelty acts are now counted alongside crimes such as arson, theft, assault and homicide in the extensive criminal database of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On January 1, 2016, the Bureau’s National Incident Reporting System (NIBRS) began collecting detailed data from law enforcement agencies responsible for acts of cruelty to animals, including gross negligence, torture, organized abuse and sexual abuse. Prior to this year, crimes involving animals were grouped under the “All other offenses” category in the annual Crime in the United States Crime Program (UCR) Programs, a survey of crime data provided by some 18,000 cities , counties, states, tribals and federals.
By adding offenses to animal cruelty to NIBRS, law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups that have pushed for inclusion in the FBI database hope the results will reveal a more complete picture of the nature of animal cruelty.
“Some studies say that cruelty to animals is a precursor to major crimes,” said Nelson Ferry, who works in the Bureau of Criminal Statistics Management Unit, which manages NIBRS. “This is one of the items that we are seeing”.
The National Sheriffs Association was the main advocate for adding animal cruelty as a data set to the Bureau’s crime statistics collection. The association has for years cited studies that link animal abuse and other types of crime – most famously, the murders committed by serial killers like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and the murder of “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz. The organization also points out the overlap between animal abuse and domestic violence and child abuse.
“If someone is hurting an animal, there is a good chance that they are also hurting a human,” said John Thompson, deputy executive director of the National Association of Sheriffs. “If we see patterns of animal abuse, chances are that something else is going on.”
Pets reduce human stress
It is in the collective interest that each person is well with himself. Health is synonymous with balance and one of the links in the chain being unbalanced, propagates its problem to the whole. In a study conducted by scientists at the University of Azabu in Japan, for example, scholars noted that dog owners had higher levels of oxytocin – known as the “love hormone” – in the blood.
Oxytocin is linked to the feeling of relaxation and well-being, in addition to stimulating family bonds. The substance also helps to reduce the levels of cortisol – known as a stress hormone and related to heart disease – in our body. The benefits are so great that the pets left the private sphere and also gained the corporate environments. The number of companies in the country that has adopted the policy of allowing animals to go to the office on specific days has been growing – the so-called “pet day”. In addition to being fun, the practice benefits the work environment. And stimulating exercise is not only beneficial to the animal, but also to its owner. The presence of the dog in the work environment makes the owner obliged to walk at lunch and have a healthier lifestyle. Studies suggest that people who sit for many hours in a row are more likely to become obese and develop diseases such as diabetes and some cancers.
Another survey, conducted by American scientists, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that the stress level of employees working in the company of a dog decreases throughout the day. Still according to the study, the presence of the animal improves the team’s satisfaction and performance. Another positive aspect is that the dog tends to break the “individuality” barrier and becomes a point of common interest among everyone, encouraging interaction and social interaction. Dogs humanize the place more.
Regardless of any other factors, the personal experience of living with animals is enriching and provides reliable information, since animals do not lie or act for petty interests. Whatever an animal tells you is true, no matter how you communicate with it, or take it into account if human intelligence is limited in relation to animal wisdom. Ask people if they have a pet; if the answer is “yes”, it probably comes with a smile and many stories of love and true friendship. Multiply by millions and recreate paradise on Earth!
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