Abused children more likely to abuse animals by Ed Boks

A great deal is known regarding the link between animal abuse and violence against humans.  In fact, law enforcement now tracks animal abuse alongside felonies like arson, burglary, assault, and homicide because it is thought that animal abuse may be a precursor to greater crimes including murder and serial killing.

A new study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood may help pull back the curtain even further into helping us understand where the inclination for cruelty originates in the first place. Continue reading “Abused children more likely to abuse animals by Ed Boks”

Time to end the Rodeo loophole… by Ed Boks

Rodeo is animal abuse

Imagine a person chasing a scared puppy across an open field.  The frightened puppy is brutally clothes-lined by a rope thrown around her neck; her legs  fly out from under her.  Her attacker grabs her, lifts her waist high and body slams her to the ground.  Terrified, the puppy’s legs are tied together so she can’t escape her tormenter; and she is dragged by the neck with the rope.    Continue reading “Time to end the Rodeo loophole… by Ed Boks”

Something wicked this way comes: the rodeo by Ed Boks

Is the Rodeo coming to your town?

Rodeo animals are generally tame creatures who must be provoked into battle

They live lives filled with stress and fear.

Contestants practice their games on numerous calves, bulls, and horses, injuring and killing many animals before even entering the ring.

A contestant’s score is based on how long he can ride a struggling animal or how quickly he can overpower an animal.

Sprains, broken bones, muscle pulls, saddle blisters, spur wounds, flank strap wounds, punctured lungs, broken ribs, hematomas, bruising, and broken necks are common.

Wounded animals are quickly removed while the rodeo announcer and rodeo clowns distract the public.

The animals who become too injured to participate are sent to slaughter.

Rodeos are state sanctioned cruelty that must be outlawed!

The last rodeo by Ed Boks

Today is opening day for Prescott Frontier Days considered the World’s Oldest Rodeo.  Established in 1888, the event has occurred over every 4th of July weekend for 130 years – and features breath-taking performances that can result in animals suffering broken ribs, backs, and legs, torn tails, punctured lungs, internal organ damage, ripped tendons, torn ligaments, snapped necks, and agonizing deaths.

How can such mayhem exist in a state where animal cruelty is a felony?   In Arizona, rodeos are exempt from anti-cruelty laws.  In fact, the State of Arizona sanctions animal cruelty in activities involving hunting, ranching, farming, rodeos, shows and security services (ARS § 13-2910.05. Exempt activities). Continue reading “The last rodeo by Ed Boks”

Rodeo: state sanctioned animal cruelty by Ed Boks

For six years I served as executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) – located in Prescott, Arizona – home to the world’s oldest rodeo.

During those six years western and central Yavapai County became the safest region in the United States for dogs and cats, having ended the use of killing/euthanasia to control pet overpopulation.  So successful was YHS in protecting dogs and cats that during my last two years at YHS, the society expanded its mission to include promoting and protecting the health, welfare and safety of horses. Continue reading “Rodeo: state sanctioned animal cruelty by Ed Boks”

Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and tethering
Is your pet lonely and bored?

The New York Times ran a piece by Jessica Pierce awhile back that asked the provocative question “Is your pet lonely and bored?” Today there are as many pets in the United States as there are people; and in most homes pets are family — and not just dogs and cats, but rabbits, rats, bearded dragons and snakes.

According to many veterinarians and psychologists this phenomenon is evidence of a deepening “human-animal bond.” Scientists studying animal cognition and emotion are continually peeling back the mysteries of animal minds, revealing an incredible and often surprising richness in the thoughts and feelings of other creatures. Continue reading “Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks”

Best kept secret in the battle to end animal abuse by Ed Boks

Ed Boks and Deborah Knaan
Attorney Deborah Knaan creator of the B.A.R.C. curriculum

I recently became reacquainted with an important program in Los Angeles.  Although, this program could be useful in every community in the United States, it appears to me to be one of the best kept secrets in the battle to mitigate animal cruelty and abuse in our communities.

I’m talking about the Benchmark Animal Rehabilitative Curriculum (B.A.R.C.).  B.A.R.C. is a unique online animal abuse prevention course designed to educate and rehabilitate individuals who have demonstrated a propensity to mistreat animals.

The B.A.R.C. course is appropriate for adults and juveniles (aged 15-17).  The course is only open to individuals referred by a member of the criminal justice system (judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, or probation officer); an animal control professional; a social services agency; an educational institution (teachers and school counselors); or a mental health professional. Continue reading “Best kept secret in the battle to end animal abuse by Ed Boks”

What does a government shutdown mean to our nation’s animals? by Ed Boks

There has been a lot of talk concerning a government shutdown in Washington- which begs the question, how would such a shut down affect our nation’s animals?

Here is a brief outline describing how the following animal welfare-related duties would be affected during a government shutdown: Continue reading “What does a government shutdown mean to our nation’s animals? by Ed Boks”

Lawmakers target animals again By Ed Boks

Speaker of the House, Republican David Gowan, who is also running for Congress, is one of the prime sponsors of a bill raising serious concerns among people who understand the importance of strong prohibitions against animal cruelty.

House Bill 2330 will delight the corporate agriculture lobbyists who helped craft it to look like an animal protection bill – but in reality, this legislation is designed to repeal the few protections millions of animals have in Arizona.

HB 2330 is nearly identical to the first bill Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed after taking office last year. Again animal-welfare advocates are asking state representatives to defeat a bill intent on weakening the state’s current animal-cruelty laws.

The bill would remove livestock and poultry from Arizona’s definition of animals in the criminal code – stripping them of any protection from anti-cruelty laws. Further, the bill omits the crime of “abandonment” and the requirement to provide medical care to farm animals – both of which are crimes under current law. Under HB 2330, a person could abandon his horse in the desert and leave it to die without penalty.

HB 2330 would also forbid any city, town or county from enacting laws tougher than this watered-down bill. For example, in 1996, the City of Phoenix enacted an ordinance banning home slaughter of livestock following an investigation of people slaughtering goats in apartment complexes. Under HB 2330, local governments will be powerless to address issues like this in their communities.

One bizarre requirement of HB 2330 is that the Department of Agriculture Director has to be notified of any investigation of livestock abuse. The bill actually requires police officers investigating livestock abuse to notify civilians in the Department of Agriculture, thereby compromising ongoing criminal investigations. No other area of law enforcement requires such an outside notification.

HB 2330 not only threatens sensitive animal cruelty investigations conducted by law enforcement, it literally puts the fox in charge of the hen house.

HB 2330 revokes protections that all animals in Arizona have benefited from for decades and puts the welfare of certain animals at substantial risk – without any corresponding benefit or legitimate justification.

Watching the Department of Agriculture trying to undermine existing animal-cruelty statutes begs the question, “What are they trying to hide?” If most farmers and agricultural people treat their animals well, as I am convinced they do, why do they need to be exempt from animal-cruelty statutes?

The Yavapai Humane Society shares the concern of many lawmakers that animal welfare groups were not invited to be involved in the drafting of this bill nor were they even allowed to participate in any stakeholder meetings.

In a letter announcing his veto of a similar bill last year, Ducey explained, “we all agree animal cruelty is inexcusable and absolutely will not be tolerated in the state of Arizona. No animal should be the victim of abuse. Moreover, perpetrators must be held to account and properly penalized to the fullest extent of the law.

“We must ensure that all animals are protected, and [be] mindful that increasing protections for one class of animals does not inadvertently undercut protections of another,” which is exactly what HB 2330 intentionally does.

HB 2330 is bad law. We can do better. Let your state representatives know how you feel.