HARTFORD, Conn. WTNH) — Over the past few years, 29 animal cruelty bills have been introduced by our state legislators. The newest one is getting a lot of support.
“She was right below death and the vet said she was within 48 hours of dying she was so emaciated,” Laura Burban. “He had wire marks around his ankles where it looks like he was hog-tied, his canines were filed down to the point where you could see the nerve, and he had ears that were in different states of being ripped apart.”
We report on these heartbreaking stories too often – animals being abused and abandoned – and it sparks outrage from the public.
And that’s why State Representative Dorinda Borer is co-sponsoring a new bill that would require the Connecticut Sentencing Commission to review the animal cruelty laws in the state and make recommendations to change any current laws.
“80 percent of the arrests don’t result in convictions and I think that’s indicative of a system wide problem in how we are holding people accountable for cruel, disturbing, criminal acts against animals,” says State Rep. Dorinda Borer. “The bottom line is–we want people held accountable for these criminal/abusive acts.”
Representative Borer would like to see three specific outcomes from this bill:
- A psychiatric evaluation of an accused juvenile, since animal cruelty is known to be a gateway crime.
- Future ban on convicted animal abusers.
- Education for everyone involved in the criminal justice system on the link between animal cruelty and other crimes.
But the concern isn’t just limited to animals. Both Representative Borer and Burban agree that animal cruelty is a gateway to more serious crimes.
“There is a correlation between people who hurt animals and people who hurt children,” says Burban.
Borer adds, “Studies that really demonstrate the link between animal cruelty and its connection to how that individual has a higher risk of engaging in other family violence, whether it’s child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse…”
And right now, the hope is this bill will pass, changes will be made, and there will be more convictions than accusations.
“It’s frustrating because you really want people to understand this is a serious crime… by disposing of these cases and not taking them seriously. It sort of belittles the act of holding them accountable,” Burban says.