Crime - Sacto 911

Animal abuse is target of new Sacramento County DA unit

Reunited: This dog is back with his family after being stolen along with a pickup

Albus the dog was in a vehicle that was stolen from a family in Truckee. See the happy reunion.
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Albus the dog was in a vehicle that was stolen from a family in Truckee. See the happy reunion.

Citing the link between animal abuse and violent crimes against people, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced formation of an Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit within the DA’s Office, as well as a regional Sacramento Animal Cruelty Task Force to deal with animal abuse countywide.

The specialized unit is intended to provide consistent prosecution of offenders, while the task force will unite law enforcement and community organizations to improve training, communication and awareness of issues concerning animal cruelty, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, a study found that in families under supervision for physical abuse of their children, animal abuse also existed in the home in 88 percent of the cases, the news release said. The DA’s Office cited other studies that report a high percentage of women entering domestic violence shelters stated that their partner had also abused or killed a family pet.

“In seven school shootings that occurred across the country between 1997 and 2001, all of the young males involved had previously committed acts of animal cruelty,” the news release said.

The Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit will be begin operating in January, led by prosecutor Hilary Bagley-Franzoia. She will also chair the Sacramento Animal Cruelty Task Force, which is scheduled to hold its first monthly meeting Wednesday. The task force will include members from county and city law enforcement and animal control agencies.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy