Negligence, abandonment, irresponsible tenure, violent shows with animals or acts of manifest cruelty. Until now, acts of brutality against animals in Spain could only be punished with administrative sanctions: you could go to prison for stealing a car, but not for mistreating an animal.
In SOS Galgos we believe that it is time that in Spain there are legislative means to fight more effectively against cruelty to animals: there are already some cases of manifest cruelty foreseen in the penal code, but more material means are lacking and humans and greater involvement of the different administrations and institutions.
Violence against people and the saturation of the judicial and criminal system are common arguments to deny greater involvement in the fight against violence towards animals. But there are more and more studies and works that show the connection that exists between violence against animals and violence towards people.
Taking violence against animals more seriously means, therefore, a benefit in the fight against that which affects people.
- Abuse of animals may indicate that there is a deeper problem: children who abuse animals may live in situations of abuse and may be graduating from violence towards people.
- Cruelty to animals may be the only visible sign of a family where there are abuses: while abuse towards women and children often occurs in private, abuse towards animals is often committed in an open manner.
- Witnesses or victims of violence towards animals and people usually speak more easily about the abuse towards animals: this starts a dialogue with the authorities that can lead to discovering the person responsible for violence against people.
- Violence is violence: a person who abuses animals has no empathy towards other living beings and runs the risk of abusing other people.
- The judicial system that suffers an overload of work does not consider animal cruelty as a priority: the effective treatment of cruelty to animals by the police, prosecutors and judges It can represent the difference between controlling violence or letting it continue to grow.
- But the processing is not enough: the treatment and monitoring are also crucial to break the cycle of violence. Psychological support programs can help to recognize and/or mitigate other forms of violence. Innovative programs that user interaction with animals can offer treatment to juvenile delinquents so that they learn to generate empathy, confidence and ability to communicate non-violently.