The Bristol Press – Heads of state draw parallels between human and animal abuse during a visit to the Humane Society on Wednesday

NEWINGTON — State officials paid a special visit to the Connecticut Humane Society Wednesday morning to shine a light on its good works and raise awareness about the correlation between human and animal abuse.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz was joined by Department of Agriculture (DOAG) Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes, State Senator Matt Lesser and representatives from ‘State Gary Turco and Kerry Wood at the CHS headquarters in Newington.

“What I know from my work on domestic violence prevention is that often when there is an abusive spouse in the home, there can also be child and animal abuse,” said said Bysiewicz.

According to national statistics, animals are harmed in 88% of homes where a child has been physically abused and children exposed to domestic violence are three times more likely to be cruel to animals. In addition, 75% of female victims of domestic violence report that their pets were threatened or intentionally harmed by their partner.

CT is one of the only states in the country to address this issue with cross-reporting laws.

“Current animal safety book laws predated child safety,” Commissioner Dorantes pointed out. “The expectation of our partnership with the Department of Agriculture is that if we are working on a case and there are animals in the house, we will report it to them and vice versa, if there are children in the premises where they are.”

Last year, the DCF reported 45 cases to DOAG and its staff reported 150 to the DCF.

CHS staff also took the opportunity to introduce state officials to the dogs in their shelter and show them around the Fox Memorial Clinic, where the animals’ basic health needs are met and where neutering services are provided. are provided to pet owners in need.

“We want to acknowledge the great work the Humane Society is doing in saving animals and finding forever homes for them,” Bysiewicz said.

Sometimes a human and their pet both need rescuing. Many foster parents will accept a child as well as their dog or cat, if the two are close and both need a good home.

The CHS works with community volunteers who foster animals until they are adopted.

“I’m so thrilled to have you in our community,” Senator Lesser said. “I know the staff here work day in and day out to make sure we take care of our animals.”

After petting and playing with some of the dogs in their care, Lesser added that he would have to explain to his own rescue dog Lucy where all the new smells came from.

“When I meet people all over the state and say I represent Newington, they say, ‘Oh, that’s where the Humane Society is,’ because of all the amazing work you do here” , Rep. Turco said, encouraging people to consider animals of all ages. and adoption capabilities.

“We all love puppies, but let’s not forget older dogs and those with disabilities,” he added.

CHS executive director James Bias discouraged people from buying pets anywhere except rescue organizations.

“We want the number one thought for acquiring pets to be shelters,” Bias said as a woman walked into the facility asking for free food for her dog.

“As a non-profit organization,” he added, “we depend on financial contributions to keep the lights on and give people access to medical services and pet food.”

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at [email protected]

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 4:00 PM. Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2022 4:03 p.m.

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Jennifer R. Strohm