Animal Abusers on Notice in South Bay

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    391219 08: Bruno, a one and a half year old pit bull dog believed to have attacked 10 year-old Shawn Jones with two other dogs, is kept in a pen at the Pinole Animal Services Center June 26, 2001 in Martinez, CA. Jones remains hospitalized in critical condition after he was attacked by three pit bull dogs. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    People who abuse animals are just as apt to inflict violence upon  other people and could face hefty fines and jail time, Santa Clara County  District Attorney Dolores Carr said.

         Carr, who is seeking re-election next week against her employee,  prosecutor Jeff Rosen, announced a multi-agency effort to combat animal abuse  at a news conference in San Jose Tuesday afternoon.
         
    "As a dog-lover, this topic is near and dear to my heart," Carr  said.
         
    Animal cruelty is not limited to intentional physical abuse, Carr  said. With the onset of summer and ensuing heat, she advised residents to not  leave their pets in an unattended car, saying that doing so is not only  potentially fatal to pets, but could lead to jail time, heavy fines and a  criminal conviction.
         
    Abuse also includes poisoning or neglecting animals and owning,  possessing or training animals with the intention of using them to fight.
         
    Bonnie Yoffe-Sharp, a representative from Palo Alto Animal  Services, said violence toward animals can sometimes predict similar acts  toward people.
         
    "That doesn't mean every child that rips off the wings of a  butterfly will become a serial killer, but there is an established link  between animal abuse and interpersonal abuse," Yoffe-Sharp said.
         
    Beth Ward, chief operations officer for Humane Society Silicon  Valley, said oftentimes people who abuse animals do so to intimidate,  terrorize, exert power or control, manipulate or get revenge on another  person.
         
    In domestic violence cases, one partner might abuse their pet to  keep the other person from leaving the relationship, Yoffe-Sharp said.
         
    Some of the warning signs of animal abuse are lack of knowledge or  concern about previous pets, lack of concern about current pet's injuries and  refusal to treat those injuries, and the owner of the animal misrepresents  their pet's injury as accidental.
         
    Julie St. Gregory, a marketing representative and volunteer  coordinator for San Jose Animal Care and Services, held a black Labrador  retriever named Annie in her arms that she said had been rescued and adopted  recently by a resident who had found the dog stuffed in a duffel bag and  abandoned.
         
    St. Gregory said Annie had suffered a broken tibia and scratches  on her forehead and had to undergo a leg amputation, but that it was a happy  ending for her because she eventually found a loving home and is recovering.
         
    Residents who see animals in situations similar to Annie's are  advised to place the animal in a carrier or box that has plenty of air holes  and transport them to a local hospital. They should not give the animal water  or food, and if transportation is a safety issue, then residents should call  an animal care center.
         
    Residents who live in San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino, Los Gatos and  Saratoga can call San Jose Animal Care and Services at (408) 578-7297. To  report animal abuse in unincorporated areas of the county, call the Santa  Clara County Division of Animal Care and Control at (408) 465-2920.

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