Animal Cruelty and Human Violence: Q&A with Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore

Today marks the end of Animal Cruelty and Human Violence Awareness week, a time to discuss the growing body of evidence demonstrating the strong connection between animal abuse and other forms of family and community violence.

Law enforcement agencies, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police have expressed concern about the relationship between animal cruelty, domestic violence, child and elder abuse, usually referred to as “The Link”.  Studies have confirmed a relationship between animal abuse and other violent crimes.

Download our fact sheet on animal cruelty and human violence.

Dr. Smith X-Ray

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore

We asked Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL, for her perspective on the link between animal cruelty and human violence.  Here’s what she had to say:

ARL Blog: How would you define “animal abuse?”

Dr. Smith-Blackmore: Animal abuse can include physical abuse (non-accidental injury), emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and staged animal fights.

Physical abuse is characterized by the deliberate inflicting of injuries or causing pain, including inappropriate methods of training. Emotional abuse may include repeated or sustained ‘mental violence’(intimidation through loud yelling or threatening behaviors) or deliberate isolation through the  withholding social interactions.

Neglect is the failure to provide adequate levels of food, water, shelter, and veterinary care to animals. Sexual abuse includes any sexual conduct with animals, which may or may not result in physical injury to the animal.

Unfortunately, examples of all of these kinds of animal abuse have been investigated by the ARL’s Law Enforcement department.  Last year alone, our Law Enforcement team led or assisted in the investigation of 576 cruelty cases.

ARL Blog:  Most people would agree that reporting animal cruelty helps the animals involved and for that reason is importance to do.  But is there an even bigger impact reporting animal cruelty has on a community?

Dr. Smith-Blackmore: Absolutely.  Animal abuse is an important social issue affecting animals, families, and communities.

Recognizing and reporting animal abuse is especially important, due to the link between animal abuse and human violence. A correlation between animal abuse, family violence and other forms of community violence has been established.

Family and animal protection professionals have recognized this connection, noting that abuse of children, elders, domestic partners and animals result in a self-perpetuating cycle of violence.

ARL Blog:  So reporting concerns about animal cruelty can really make a difference to both animals and people?

Dr. Smith-Blackmore: Yes, when animals in a home are abused or neglected, it’s a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe. In addition, children who witness animal abuse are harmed and are also at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.

Laws provide animals with protection from abuse; however successful prosecution depends on reporting by witnesses to law enforcement authorities.  Protecting animals and creating safe and humane communities has to be a priority for us all.

Learn more about animal cruelty and domestic violence.

For more on this topic visit arlboston.org/take-action

 

Limited Release “See Something, Say Something” Doggy T-Shirts Now Available

You & Your Dog Can Make a Difference!

Dog T-shirt 1April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and yesterday marked the beginning of Animal Cruelty and Human Violence Awareness Week.

Your dog can raise awareness about animal cruelty by wearing one of the ARL’s doggy t-shirts!

Starting this weekend when you make a $25 donation at any of the ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, or Dedham you’ll receive a limited release “See Something, Say Something” doggie t-shirt.

We have many sizes available!

Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action

 

Today! Pet-Friendly Spring Event at BVC

Pet Photos with the Easter Bunny!

FIVER will be at BVC's event this afternoon.

FIVER  is one of the bunnies who’ll be at the event. His adoption fee has been waived thanks to a generous sponsor.

Please join Boston Veterinary Care for a special Easter event celebrating their dedicated clients and welcoming new faces.

Bring the whole family (pets too) today, Saturday, April 12 from noon-3pm for photos with the Easter Bunny, refreshments, and Easter egg hunt and YES live, adoptable bunnies from the ARL!

Learn more at bostonvetcare.com

Special thank you to the Berkeley Perk Cafe for donating refreshments for the event!

 

Thank You Thursday: We’re Celebrating Our Volunteers

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week!

This week is volunteer appreciation week and we’re dedicating today’s “Thank You Thursday” to all of our outstanding volunteers, without whom we could fulfill our mission! They are such a vital part of our organization.

We’ve been celebrating them all week with special events at all three of our shelter locations. Dedham’s volunteer event was held on Tuesday, Boston’s was yesterday and Brewster’s is tonight – the winners are still a secret!

Thank you all for your commitment to animals and the ARL We truly appreciate everything that you for us and animals in need!

Kate Hanson one of the Best of Boston winners. [Photo: Maria Uribe]

Kate Hanson one of the Best of Boston winners.
[Photo: Maria Uribe]

Several volunteers particularly stood out this year and we’d like to give them an extra shout-out below:

Best of Boston –  Jane Urban and  Kate Hanson

Cape’d Crusader – Will be announced tonight!

Dedham’s Most Dignified – Rachel Sisson

Medicine’s Most Marvelous – Maryanne Hertel

Boston’s Unsung Hero – Laurie Gail

Admin’s Above and Beyond – Marilyn Wales (Dedham) and Margaret Wirth (Boston)

Four Footed Friends Best Foster – Will be announced tonight!

Thank you Image

 

 

Track the ARL’s Runners on Marathon Monday

Marathon Monday is 2 Weeks Away!

01-19-14 Boston Marathon Team PicsThe Boston Marathon is two weeks away and our runners could not be more prepared!

After months of training through extreme winter weather conditions, the runners are relieved to finally enter into the taper portion of their training.  This means that they run less and rest more for the last 3 weeks before race day, giving their bodies time to recover from the intense training that they have been doing.

They’ve been working hard and deserve some love! Please show your support for the ARL’s Boston Marathon Team, by donating to them on their Crowdrise page and cheering for them on Marathon Monday. For information on how to track the progress of our runners using the AT&T Athlete Alert visit: http://bit.ly/1e9LjEZ

To receive alerts for our runners, you’ll need their bib numbers which are listed below:

Carolyn: #28887

Karen: #28886

Margaret: #28884

Turner: #28885

Donate to the team today: crowdrise.com/arl2014bostonmarathon

 

 

 

Today: Rabies & Microchip Clinic in Dedham

Microchip Your Pet!

It’s that time of year again, so please join us!

The ARL’s Dedham shelter will host their annual Rabies and Microchip Clinic on Saturday, April 5 from 10A.M.-2P.M.

Rabies vaccines are $10 each ($7 for seniors citizens)
Microchips are $15 each ($12 for senior citizens)
For everyone’s safety, all dogs must be on leash and cats in carriers.

For more information or if you have questions please call (781) 326-0729 or email dedham@arlboston.org.

kitten in pet carrier

 

Spay Waggin’ Adds Date for Dogs in Hyannis

April Spay Waggin’ Schedule is Now Available

Mickey

Due to popular demand, the Animal Rescue League’s Spay Waggin’ now has two scheduled dates in Hyannis - April 1 for cats and April 28 for dogs.

The mobile spay/neuter unit provides spay/neuter surgeries and other preventive healthcare for dog and cat parents in financial need on the South Shore and Cape Cod.

“Many people can not afford to spay/neuter their pets,” explained Cheryl T., shelter and community medicine program coordinator at the ARL.

“They love their pets and want to do what’s best for them, but need the kind of help provided by the Spay Waggin’ to keep them happy and healthy.”

Learn more about the Spay Waggin’

The April Spay Waggin’ schedule is now available online. Please call 1-877-590-SPAY(7729) or book online (cats only) and make an appointment for your pet today!

April Spay Waggin Schedule

To see the benefits of spay and neuter visit: arlboston.org/spay-neuter

 

Invest in Animals This Tax Season

Donate on Line 32f of Your Massachusetts Tax Form!

If you need something to look forward to this tax season, consider this:

By donating on line 32f of your Massachusetts tax form, you are making a difference in the lives of animals in our state.

Your donation to the Massachusetts Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund will help the state’s most vulnerable animals: those who are homeless and those who are owned by families unable to afford to spay/neuter their pets.

Created by Chapter 193 of the Acts of 2012, the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund will help animals by reducing the number of homeless cats and dogs and will provide training to animal control officers.

So, please invest in the responsible care of animals by giving on line 32f!

03-23-14 Tax Season Photo

All photos courtesy of Massachusetts Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund

 

Tips for Tails at Centre Street Cafe in JP

Fundraiser in Jamaica Plain this Weekend

Throughout the weekend of March 21st through March 23rd, Marc, from Centre Street Cafe in Jamaica Plain is donating all of his tips from his shifts to the ARL!

The ARL’s director of development, Julie Ann McNary will be at Centre Street Cafe on Saturday to answer questions about the organization and share information about the ARL’s important work.

03-22-14 Photo Marc with DogLearn more about Marc’s event or support his cause by visiting his donation page: crowdrise.com/MarcAnimalRescueLeague

The fundraiser will take place during the following times:

  • 03/21 Friday night dinner: 5p.m.-9:30p.m.
  • 03/22 Saturday brunch: 9a.m.-3p.m.
  • 03/22 Saturday dinner: 5p.m.-9:30p.m.
  • 03/23 Sunday brunch: 9a.m.-3p.m.

We’d like to say thank you to Marc for choosing to raise funds for the ARL and for caring so much about shelter animals! Your support is much appreciated!

 

ARL Makes a Splash at Humane Lobby Day

President Mary Nee Spoke About Animal Cruelty Awareness & Prevention

Volunteer programs manager, Debby Vogel and ARl president, Mary Nee with Turtle at the State House.

Volunteer programs manager, Debby Vogel and ARL president, Mary Nee with Turtle .

Yesterday was Humane Lobby Day for animals and our staff, volunteers and our canine advocate, Turtle, hit the steps of the Massachusetts State House running!

This year’s Humane Lobby Day boasted record high attendance and we were proud to be able to help show legislators how deeply voters feel about animal welfare.

Our team of over 20 staff and volunteers made sure everyone at the event knew exactly who the Animal Rescue League of Boston is and what type of work we do in Massachusetts.

ARL president Mary Nee was one of the key speakers at the event. Her speech emphasized the importance of legislation that protects animals like Puppy Doe, and countless others, from cruelty and suffering.

Our canine advocate, Turtle, enjoyed the spotlight at Humane Lobby Day.  With her red “SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” t-shirt, TURTLE, a former bait dog who was found barely clinging to life almost 4 years ago, shared our important message about animal cruelty awareness! If you see or suspect animal abuse, say something by calling your local authorities.

She mingled with everyone from ARL president Mary Nee, to animal welfare advocates to state representatives, including Rep. David Linsky of Natick, sharing her story with everyone she met.

We’d like to extend our thanks to our volunteers, without whom we would never have been able to get our message and legislative agenda out to all 160 representatives and 40 senators! The ARL has the best volunteers in the world and we are so grateful for all they do!

Group Photo

Group Photo!

Mary Speaking

ARL president, Mary Nee speaking at Humane Lobby Day.

Turtle & Table Cloth

Turtle in front of our table.

Turtle was the best canine advocate anyone could ask for!

Turtle was the best canine advocate anyone could ask for!

Volunteers ready to get to work!

Volunteers ready to get to work!

Some volunteers came all the way from Cape Cod!

Some volunteers came all the way from Cape Cod!

 

ARL president, Mary Nee with a volunteer.

ARL president, Mary Nee with a volunteer.