NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a grant of $10,000 to The Linkage Project, a program of Youth Alternatives Ingraham (YI), in South Portland, Me. The funding will be used by the group to increase community awareness of the strong link between animal cruelty and human violence.
"The ASPCA has long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes," said Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA senior vice president of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. "Animal cruelty is not just an animal control or law enforcement problem - it is something that requires the skills and resources of many members of a community to respond to and prevent."
The Linkage Project is a statewide coalition of animal control officers; health and human service representatives; law enforcement officials; and child, adult and animal welfare advocates. The group trains human and animal welfare workers and law enforcement officers from across the state to work together to stop violence against people and pets. The group also works to increase the capacity of communities to respond when children or adults perpetrate or witness animal abuse, including cases of hoarding and neglect. The Project provides practical tools for the early identification and prevention of animal abuse, and works to change laws to improve the safety of people and pets.
"When there is animal cruelty in a home, chances are that someone, possibly a child, a partner or an elderly family member, is also being hurt," said Andrea Paul, YI vice president of Advocacy and Strategic Initiatives. "Studies show that children who witness animal abuse are more likely to repeat the cycle. We are grateful for the ASPCA's support so that we can continue to address the welfare of children, the elderly and animals throughout Maine."
For more information about the link between animal cruelty and human violence, please visit www.aspca.org.