Dear Editor: The case in which a Wausau woman allegedly poisoned and killed her boyfriend’s dog after the dog’s veterinarian failed to report a history of possible abuse is extremely disturbing. Veterinarians in Wisconsin (and every state) should be legally required to notify authorities immediately if they suspect an animal is being harmed, particularly since repeat offenses are common.
Letting cruelty go unreported not only puts animals in grave danger, it also compromises the entire community’s safety. Animal abusers are cowards who take their issues out on “easy victims” — and their targets often include members of their own species. In my work, I have seen case after case in which people who abuse animals commit similar crimes against members of their own families and communities.
Many batterers try to control their victims, such as a partner or spouse, by threatening, torturing, and/or killing the victim’s animals. The FBI has also found that a history of cruelty to animals regularly appears in its records of serial rapists and murderers.
Protecting animals protects us all. Please, report suspected cruelty to animals immediately.
director, Emergency Response Team in Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals