The ASPCA knows that when someone abuses an animal, there’s a good chance that person is hurting or will hurt a person, too. So the Linkage Project, a group that raises awareness of the deep connection between animal cruelty and other violence, is a program we can get behind. On Thursday, the ASPCA announced it is awarding $10,000 to help the Maine organization further its work.
“The ASPCA has long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes,” says 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—a statewide coalition of animal control officers; health and human service representatives; law enforcement officials; and child, adult and animal welfare advocates—embraces that collaborative approach.
The ASPCA’s grant will help Linkage train Maine’s human- and animal-welfare workers and law enforcement officers to work together to stop violence against people and pets. The Linkage Project, a program of Youth Alternatives Ingraham in South Portland, also works to increase the capacity of communities to respond when children or adults see or commit animal abuse, including cases of hoarding and neglect.
The grant to the Linkage Project is one of roughly 550 the ASPCA awarded to groups all over the country in 2010. In all, the ASPCA gave out over $6 million in grants this year.