Soul Friends

Soul Friends

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Press Release

March 20, 2008

Rep. Urban To Chair Special Panel

Speaker of the House Jim Amann (D-Milford) today named an eight-member task force to deal with the disturbing number of animal abuse incidents and its brutal effect on human behavior.

The “Task Force On Animal Cruelty And The Circle Of Violence” will be chaired by State Representative Diana Urban (D-North Stonington/Stonington)  Joining her are State Representatives Russell Morin (D-Wethersfield), Robert Megna (D-New Haven), Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), Clark Chapin (R-New Milford), Lawrence Miller (R-Stratford) and Debralee Hovey (R-Monroe). Rep. Richard Roy (Milford) will serve as an ex-officio member.

“Data clearly shows a future penchant for violent behavior among young people that abuse animals,” Speaker Amann said. “If we can get to these kids early and help them, we can also prevent tragedies down the road as they grow into adults.”

“I am so pleased Speaker Amann has asked me to chair this task force,” Rep. Urban said. “There is no question the horrific stories of animal abuse that have occurred across the country and right in our own state have been shocking. We must find ways to stem this violence and make a difference for not only our future, but the future of our children.”

“I want to thank Speaker Amann and Representative Urban for the invitation to participate on this most important occasion,” said Debora M. Bresch, Esq., Eastern Region Legislative Liaison, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “We know that those who engage in animal cruelty are more likely to engage in other form of antisocial behavior, including violence toward people.”

“I would like to thank Speaker Amann for recognizing a tremendous social problem that effects the lives of every Connecticut child everyday,” said Kate Nicoll, Executive Director, Soul Friends.

The FBI uses animal abuse as one of the four indicators of future violent behavior. There are studies of battered women who indicate that their pets were also abused. In one instance an abuser ran over his wife’s old deaf dog in front of their children as a way to inflict control and pain.

The task force will meet between now and December and will solicit comments and information from the public and experts on how to prevent some of the tragedies that have been reported in the media in recent months. The task force will report to the legislature on ways to ameliorate violence.


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