Link between animal cruelty and other violence - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Link between animal cruelty and other violence

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The State Attorney for Palm Beach County, Dave Aronberg, needs to be tough on crime. But he had a soft tone when talking Tuesday about his adopted basset hound, Cookie.

"She’s meant the world to me," said Aronberg, showing off a picture of the dog on his cellphone.

Aronberg was among the speakers Tuesday at an event in Port St. Lucie put on the Pegasus Foundation.

The goal is to bring together prosecutors, law enforcement, animal control officers, and animal activists to recognize the signs when animal abuse could lead to worse.

“You can tell a lot about our society by how it treats its most vulnerable," said Aronberg.

Aronberg prosecuted a case this summer where a man was found guilty of starving a pit bull west of Delray Beach.  One of many animal cruelty cases reported in our area this year.

Phil Arkow is with the National Link Coalition. This former Director of the Peggy Adams Rescue League in Palm Beach County says the “link” is realizing animal cruelty cases are no longer a stand-alone issue.

“Children who hurt animals grow up to be violent adults.  We also see animals are abused by batterers in domestic violence situations," said Arkow.

Arkow says there’s not one specific warning sign, but if someone is repeatedly harming animals, authorities need to get involved so that animal cruelty, doesn’t escalate to endangering people.

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