Applaud FBI for Tracking Animal Abuse on Par With Rape, Assault, and Homicide

Target: James B. Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Goal: Applaud the development of a new policy that tracks animal abuse in the same way that it tracks rape, assault, and homicide.

This year, the crime of animal abuse has been classified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Group A felony. Group A felonies include the most violent and vicious crimes, such as homicide, arson, and assault. The FBI has defined animal cruelty as, “Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment.” The four subgroups of animal cruelty that law enforcement agencies report on are neglect, intentional abuse, organized abuse (such as dogfighting), and sexual abuse.

In 2014, Mary Lou Radnor convinced the FBI that tracking convicted animal abusers was a worthy endeavor due to the link between animal abuse and violent crimes against human beings. According to the Chicago Police Department, 65 percent of people arrested for animal crimes have been arrested for battery against another person. It is also believed that tracking alleged animal abusers can help identify young offenders in order to get them the help they need and prevent them from committing violent crimes against other people.

Incidents of abuse and arrests will be reported in the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which will encourage law enforcement agencies to see the real facts of animal cruelty and its link to crimes against people. John Thompson, Executive Director of the National Sheriffs’ Association said of the data in the NIBRS, “[It is] not just somebody saying the ‘Son of Sam’ killed animals before he went to human victims and 70-some percent of the school shooters abused animals prior to doing their acts before people.” With this new tracking system, more convicted offenders will be serving time in prison than in the past.

By signing this petition, you are thanking James B. Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations for instigating serious investigation and tracking of animal abuse and suspected animal abusers.


Dear Director Comey,

Due to your and your department’s efforts, new policies have been made to protect animals and track the convicted animal abusers. Domesticated animals are as defenseless as children or the elderly and they deserve the protection of the FBI. The cruelty of neglect, physical violence, sexual abuse, and organized violence against animals is now recognized as a Group A felony, as it should be. Violence against animals is just as harmful to our communities as assault or rape.

According to the Chicago Police Department, 65 percent of people arrested for crimes against animals have also been arrested for battery. This strong link demonstrates that a person who acts abusively towards animals is likely to also act abusively towards human beings. Not only will this tracking help prevent future animal abuse, but hopefully it will also allow the FBI to recognize young offenders and get them the help they need.

Thank you so much for taking steps to protect the rights of defenseless animals, and developing more intensive methods of tracking and investigating animal abuse.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pleple2000

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