PETA Urges Carson to Include Dogs in Anti-Bullying Ordinance

Link Between Animal Abuse and Violence Toward Humans Used by FBI Profilers: People Who Jerk, Strike, and Scream at Dogs Need to Think Twice

For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Washington, DC — – Carson, Calif., is about to pass landmark legislation that would make bullying anyone 25 years old or younger a crime in the city. PETA welcomes the ordinance as a step forward, but the organization believes that one long-bullied group shouldn’t be left out: dogs. So PETA sent a letter this morning to Carson Mayor Jim Dear urging him to work with the City Council to add bullied dogs to those protected by the ordinance, which will receive a final vote on May 20. In its letter, PETA points out that forceful handling, screaming, neglect and deprivation, and jerking on choke and prong collars are just a few of the ways that dogs are routinely bullied. The FBI and other law-enforcement agencies that profile suspects recognize the well-established link between animal abusers and those who direct their violence against fellow human beings.

“Animals are hurt by bullying, just as children are and perhaps more so because they can’t understand why they must repress their natural behavior or what they have done ‘wrong,'” writes PETA Manager Alicia Woempner. “It is unacceptable to mistreat any living being, including both human children and dogs.”

PETA and TeachKind—PETA’s education division—work to combat bullying in schools by showing that the mistreatment of animals can lead to harm against fellow humans and should be taken seriously.

For more information, please visit PETA.org. I can be reached at 202-540-2194 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

PETA’s letter to Carson Mayor Jim Dear follows.

May 14, 2014

The Honorable Jim Dear

Mayor of Carson

Dear Mayor Dear:

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including tens of thousands across Southern California, to urge you with all due respect to consider working with the City Council in order to extend the welcome protection that your city’s new anti-bullying ordinance will provide young people with to include Carson’s canine residents by amending the measure before the upcoming vote on May 20.

Many dogs are bullied into submission every day by the guardians whose responsibility it is to care for them. I’m sure that you can imagine how it must feel to be yanked by the neck just for stopping to smell something interesting, punished with a painful choke or shock collar, locked inside a crate for hours on end when no one is at home, or threatened with bodily harm for making a mistake. Animals are hurt by bullying, just as children are and perhaps even more so because they can’t understand why they must repress their natural behavior or what they have done “wrong” and because they can’t express their pain in words. It is unacceptable to mistreat any living being, including both human children and dogs.

Law-enforcement officials concur that children who are violent and aggressive toward animals are more likely to grow up to behave in the same way toward humans. Anyone charged with bullying in Carson should be subject to the same penalties, regardless of the identity or species of the victim. This addendum would help safeguard all of Carson’s residents—human and canine—from physical and mental torment, and it would set a precedent of compassion for other counties to follow. We would be happy to connect you with experts in animal psychology and to work with you and the City Council to make this happen. I can be reached at 323-210-2231 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Alicia Woempner

Special Projects Manager

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— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind