R 179
99-S 997
Enacted 5/4/99

S E N A T E    R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Perry, Coderre T., Goodwin and Izzo

Date Introduced : May 4, 1999

WHEREAS, An urgent need exists to prevent violence, especially among juvenile offenders and in domestic situations; and

WHEREAS, A strong correlation between animal abuse and violence against humans has been documented by criminal profiling experts associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who have identified cruelty to animals as one of the three traits often found in the "homicidal triad" which indicates the characteristics of a violent personality; and

WHEREAS, A disproportionately high number of violent killers in the prison system admit to having abused animals, and virtually every serial killer and many violent killers have a history of abusing animals; and

WHEREAS, Many of the recent cases of school violence have involved students with a history of animal abuse; and

WHEREAS, Individuals who deliberately abuse animals are more likely to abuse their spouse and their children or otherwise be involved in violent crimes; and

WHEREAS, Some experts believe that abusing animals may increase or fuel the desire to commit violence against humans in certain disturbed individuals; and

WHEREAS, Animal cruelty is violence and should be recognized as such when assessing an individual's propensity to commit future acts of violent crime; and

WHEREAS, Intentional animal abuse is an early warning signal that individuals, including young people, could perpetrate violent crimes against other individuals; and

WHEREAS, Laws against cruelty to animals have been enacted in all 50 states and provide penalties for the purposeful torture and killing of animals, and the enforcement of these animal abuse laws provide law enforcement officials with an opportunity to bring potentially violent offenders into the criminal justice system before they commit more serious crimes against humans; now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby

(1) recognizes that individuals who abuse animals are more likely to commit more serious violent crimes against humans;

(2) urges social workers, teachers, mental health professionals, and others to be aware of the connection between animal cruelty and human violence and to evaluate carefully and to monitor closely individuals who have a history of abusing animals because this may indicate a propensity to commit violence against other humans;

(3) urges appropriate federal agencies to encourage and support research to increase the understanding of the connection between cruelty to animals and violence against humans in order to utilize instances of animal abuse to identify and intervene with potentially violent individuals, and urges federal agencies which are undertaking research on violent crime and its causes to incorporate examination of the link between violence against animals and violence against humans;

(4) urges local law enforcement officials to treat cases of animal cruelty seriously both because such cruelty is a crime in its own right in all 50 states and because it is a reliable indicator of the potential for domestic and other forms of violence against humans; and

(5) commends the fine work of local animal control officials and humane investigators who enforce laws against animal abuse and urges these professionals to work more closely with local law enforcement personnel to identify and prevent potential violence against humans; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate does hereby proclaim the 1st week in May "Be Kind to Animals Week" in Rhode Island.

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