IDA Urges Psychiatric Evaluation for Puppy Killer
Oakland, Calif.In Defense of Animals (IDA) fired off a letter to Prosecutor Erin Loback, urging her to prosecute Bernadette Hutcherson, of Oakland - who is being charged with felony animal abuse for killing her 6-week-old puppy by smashing his head into the pavement - to the fullest extent. The group suggests that Hutcherson undergo psychiatric evaluation upon conviction.
IDA warns that studies have proved that violence towards animals is often a precursor to violence against people. Studies by the F.B.I. and U.S. Department of Justice have proven the connection between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. Violent acts toward animals, when left unaddressed, have been linked to intensified violence and neglect and/or expansion to human victims.
As a child, serial killer Ted Bundy witnessed his fathers violence toward animals and subsequently tortured animals for his own amusement. Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped and stabbed a 7-year-old boy, was known in his neighborhood for hanging cats and torturing dogs. David Berkowitz (a.k.a. Son of Sam) shot a neighbors Labrador retriever. Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a California school, killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, often setting their tails on fire. In Littleton, Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot to death 12 fellow students and a teacher and injured more than 20 others. Both teens had reportedly boasted about mutilating animals.
The strong connection between cruelty to animals has been recognized by the FBI, mental health experts, and animal protectionists. Ms. Hutcherson needs to be punished. She is not only a danger to puppies, but judging from our experience, is also likely to harm children and other vulnerable beings. It is crucial, for everyones sake, that this case be taken seriously, says IDAs President Elliot Katz, DVM.