BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The FBI's annual uniform crime reports, or UCR, will now include animal abuse and cruelty cases as well. The FBI implemented the addition on Sept. 9.
East Baton Rouge Animal Control Director Hilton Cole said tracking those numbers could help save a human life down the road.
"It leads us in the animal world to fear what these people would perpetrate to other human beings especially with children or vulnerable adults," said Cole.
LSU Criminologist Ed Shihadeh said research proves many violent criminals or serial killers do have a history of animal abuse.
"The research shows there is a relationship between animal abuse and people abuse. That's why the FBI is now wanting metrics on animal abuse as an early indicator for criminal or anti-social behaviors among people, and I think it's a good move," said Shihadeh.
The FBI will start tracking animal abuse patterns in four different categories.
- Simple/gross neglect
- Intentional abuse and torture
- Organized abuse (dog fighting or cock fighting)
- Animal sexual abuse
In East Baton Rouge Parish, for all of last year, there were 211 cases of neglect, 141 of abuse and torture, 29 dog fighting cases and no animal sexual abuse incidents. Starting next year, all those numbers will be forwarded to the FBI.
Currently, local law enforcement agencies gather all crime statistics and forward them to the FBI annually for the UCR. As for which agency will forward the animal abuse numbers now -- the locals or Animal Control itself, Cole said that has yet to be determined.
The FBI will implement the changes next year and require the statistics to be turned in for the first time in January 2016.