MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - On July 1st, all law enforcement in the state of Georgia will be required to take a course to help officers spot a hidden problem. By helping to prevent animal cruelty you could be stopping a cycle of abuse and even save a life.
"In a lot of cases it's been noted that people that have abused animals have been led to go on to more severe crimes against people," said Moultrie PD Sgt. Daniel Lindsay.
Gang activity, drug dealing, and illegal gambling often coincide with these cases.
Sgt. Lindsay says the training he and his fellow officers are getting this week will make a difference in the field. "I think with this information we'll be able to recognize more of what may have gone undetected in the past by officers that may not have had this type of training."
Stopping animal abuse isn't only for police. Anyone can help. "If you see something going on and you don't think it's right it probably isn't right. Best thing to do is call a law enforcement agency and let them go have a look," said Ken Sullivan, Law enforcement instructor.
And with training like this and tougher new laws for those convicted of animal cruelty, help may arrive sooner.
"Giving law enforcement the tools they need to identify and investigate animal cruelty whether it be dog fighting cock fighting or neglect or any kind of animal cruelty," Sullivan said.
There has also been a push to increase interventions in order to recognize abuse and neglect.
"Hopefully put them in some type of rehabilitation or corrective behavior that would allow future crimes against people not to occur," Lindsay said.
If you see animal cruelty or believe there is an animal fighting ring in your area, call police so they can start the cycle of healing.