WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation hopes to crack down on animal cruelty with a database to keep up with offenders. The FBI hopes the tracking will save more animals and prevent other crimes from happening.
The FBI hopes to bring justice to animals who have been victims of animal abuse using its National Incident-Based Reporting System. The Executive Director of Best Friends Humane Society in Worth County says the data system is a step in the right direction for protecting the animals and is encouraging people to report animal abuse to local authorities.
"They in turn can help fulfill the local ordinances, prosecute locally, prosecute on the state level and fill that national database for the FBI," said Jody Yarbrough, Best Friends Humane Society Executive Director.
The FBI is partnering with the National Sheriff's Association and the Animal Welfare Institute. They're collecting data on dog fighting, cock fighting and animal sex abuse. Yarbrough says some of the animals that come through their doors have been victims of neglect and that his facility creates an atmosphere of "Animal Protection."
"Animal control is really a term that we feel like is controlling the animals," said Yarbrough. "Well it's really for protection of the animal and protection of people. We really feel like the animals come first."
The FBI hopes that tracking acts of violence against animals could help law enforcers intervene before it develops into violence against people. Yarbrough hopes the FBI's efforts will create a trend.
"So it's a step in the right direction that I think maybe will have effects that will drop down to the state level, the local level and hopefully will push forward to improve laws for animal protection overall," said Yarbrough.
The Data collection started at the beginning of the year and will be available to the public next year. Yarbrough encourages you to report any suspicion of animal cruelty to your local humane society, animal control, or law enforcement agency.
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