Law enforcement officers trained to deal with animal cruelty

Law enforcement officers trained to deal with animal cruelty

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mid-South law enforcement agencies received free training to learn how to deal with animal cruelty cases and animal fighting.

The Humane Society partnered with Memphis Animal Services to provide the training to law enforcement officers, veterinarians, and prosecutors, which focused on animal abuse laws in Tennessee and the link between animal cruelty and other violent crimes.

"Seventy percent of people that will abuse an animal will also abuse a human," said Cindy Marx-Sanders, U.S. Humane Society District 9 leader. "Our Tennessee state law is set up so that we have instant protection for children in the house and for elders in the house."

In May 2009, more than 200 people were arrested in Lewis County where TBI agents raided a cockfighting ring that led to one of the biggest drug busts in the state.

"Illegal drugs, illegal gambling, weapons, those sorts of things go right along with it so what we're trying to do is show these people how they can recognize these crimes and get them stopped," said Tennessee Humane Society Director Eric Swafford.

Memphis Animal Services Director Alexis Pugh said this kind of partnership will provide blanket protection for both animals and people.

"The more that we all know the laws, we know what's expected, we what we're able to enforce, the better we are all going to be at identifying cruelty in our community and bringing those guilty of it to justice," Pugh said.

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