A conference on animal crimes drew representatives of animal service agencies, law enforcement, and prosecutors to Rochester Friday.
Keynote speaker Phil Arkow of the National Link Coalition said police and the public at large sometimes trivialize animal abuse, but it is often linked to violence against humans
"The animals are targeted by the abusers as a way to keep the rest of the family off guard and warn them that if they leave, their animals will be harmed,” he said. “Thousands of abused women and children are trapped in those abusive relationships."
Arkow said his organization trains investigators of animal abuse to be on the lookout for other signs of family violence and to collaborate with police and domestic violence agencies.
Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview with Phil Arkow.