LARGO – SPCA Tampa Bay and Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force will present a program on the human factor in animal abuse on Thursday, Oct. 24, 6 to 9 p.m., at SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N.
In recognition of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Tampa Bay will host a workshop on the human factors in animal abuse. The workshop is open to the public and offers continuing education credits to law enforcement, guidance counselors and social workers. The program is free but registration is required. To register, visit www.SPCATampaBay.org.
Animal cruelty is an indicator crime that points to a pattern of escalating violence aimed at family members who are less able to defend themselves: children, the elderly and others. Studies have repeatedly proven this link between cruel acts toward animals and human violence.
Workshop speakers will include Sgt. Laura Spelman, Clearwater police department; Joan Rueben and Denise Thornton, Pinellas County School Board; Suzanne Horn, CASA; Denise Hughes-Conlon, Pinellas County Domestic Violence Task Force/PERC; Martha Boden, SPCA Tampa Bay; Doug Brightwell, Pinellas County Animal Services; William H. Burgess III, Circuit Judge 6th Judicial Court; and, Jim Helinger, Esquire.
Topics covered will include patterns of abuse in animal cruelty and human violence; how to be a better bystander for animals and people; SPCA Tampa Bay and Pinellas County Animal Services’ roles in investigation and the judicial process.
Several notable animal cruelty cases in Pinellas’ history will be presented, including Eldred/Pettyjohn. This case broke in October 2001 and is best known in Pinellas County as ‘the llama case.’ It is considered the most horrendous animal cruelty case in recent history.