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Youth Might Pose Danger to People, Too, Warns Group
For Immediate Release:February 11, 2013
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
This morning, PETA sent an
urgent plea to Hill County Attorney David Holmes urging him to vigorously
prosecute a 12-year-old Blum boy who is facing charges of cruelty to animals
for allegedly shooting two of his neighbor's horses to death. The deaths of six
horses, a donkey, and a cow have been reported in recent months, and several of
these deaths are also being linked to the defendant.
PETA warns that such acts should never be dismissed as
"childish pranks." Criminal profile studies show that many people who
are violent toward animals in their youth grow up to commit violent crimes
against humans. Robert Ressler, founder of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences
Unit, has described serial killers and other psychopathic torturers of people
as "the kids who never learned it's wrong to poke out a puppy's
"Young people who harm animals are a threat to society,
and Hill County authorities must send a strong message that violence in the
community will not be swept under the rug," says PETA Director Martin
Mersereau. "Given the strong connection between cruelty to animals and
other forms of violence, it is imperative, for everyone's sake, that this case
be taken seriously."
A 1999 study of suspects charged
with cruelty to animals—ranging from severe neglect to intentional
killing—found that 78 percent had also been charged with offenses involving
violence or the threat of violence toward humans. For more information, please
visit PETA.org. To view PETA's new
anti-violence public service announcement featuring Sopranos star Edie
Falco, please visit http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=edie_link1.
PETA's letter to Hill County Attorney David Holmes follows.
February 11, 2012
The Honorable David HolmesHill County Attorney’s OfficeP. O. Box 253Hillsboro, TX 76645-2353
Dear Mr. Holmes:
PETA is an international
animal protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters
globally. This letter concerns a recent case that
your office is handling involving an unnamed 12-year-old boy from Blum. We
understand that he faces charges of cruelty to animals stemming from his
alleged fatal shooting of a neighbor’s horses. According to news sources, the
suspicious deaths of six horses, a donkey, and a cow have been reported in
recent months, and several of these cruel deaths are being linked to the
As you likely know,
mental-health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider animal
abuse to be a red flag. The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty
to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI
uses reports of animal abuse in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and
known criminals. FBI interviews with murderers showed
that 36 percent of them had tortured and killed animals as children and that 46 percent had done so as adolescents. The
link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is undeniable, and the
safety of the community may depend upon a vigorous prosecution of this case.
On behalf of our thousands of
members and supporters in Texas, we respectfully ask that the defendant, if
convicted, be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed
by mandatory counseling at his family’s expense,
in addition to serving a period of incarceration. Because repeat crimes are the
rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the disturbing
nature of this case, we also ask that, if convicted, the defendant be
prohibited from contact with animals (a common provision in such cases) for as long
Thank you for your
consideration and for the difficult work that you do.
Kristin SimonSenior Cruelty CaseworkerCruelty Investigations
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.