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Investigator to speak on link between animal, human abuse
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Investigator to speak on link between animal, human abuse

HSSA's abuse expert to explain connection Wednesday

  • Most children learn compassion and tolerance with their pets, but some who witness cruelty to animals from an early age can grow up to be violent against other people.
    GirlReporter/FlickrMost children learn compassion and tolerance with their pets, but some who witness cruelty to animals from an early age can grow up to be violent against other people.

Cruelty to animals often can lead to violence against humans, studies have shown.

The connection will be explained when Michael Duffy, an animal cruelty investigator for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona speaks on the topic Wednesday night at the Woods Memorial Branch Library, 3455 N. First Ave.

Most children learn social values like compassion and tolerance from having pets. But for children who witness cruelty to pets, or are themselves abused by parents, are more likely to grow up to lash out violently against people, said HSSA spokeswoman Sara Gromley.

Most battered women have reported that their abusers have either threatened to hurt or have killed their pets, Gromley said.

Animal abuse also has been documented among many mass murderers, Duffy told a group of University of Arizona law students in November.

"A lot of mass murderers who disclose their information to us said that their earliest crimes were with animal cruelty," Duffy told the students.

Duffy spent more than 34 years with the Pima County Sheriff's Department as a SWAT operator, paramedic and hostage negotiator, Gromley said.

Duffy spent the last eight years of his career with PCSD as a detective with the department's Animal Crimes Investigations and is co-founder of the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Southern Arizona.

The Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona is sponsoring Duffy's seminar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

If you go

  • What: Seminar on the link between animal cruelty and violence against people
  • When: Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Woods Memorial Branch Library Meeting Room, 3455 N. First Ave.

The seminar is free, but space is limited to 75 people

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