The speakers were prosecutors, police officers, forensic technicians, veterinarians and ASPCA cruelty investigators. Topics included:
- Blood Sports (dog fighting and cock fighting)
- Crime Scenes
- Evidence Collection
- Forensic Testing
- The Fourth Amendment
- Interagency Collaborations
- Petitioning for Custody
- Writing Warrants
There's a link between violence toward animals and violence toward people. As more studies come out it's becoming obvious that animal abuse should be taken seriously. I know . . . duh. But sadly, crimes against animals have been considered "less than" for decades. Things are changing, albeit slowly. Various agencies -- animal control, police departments, code enforcement, social services -- are forming interagency task forces to stop violence and abuse. The FBI has recently started tracking various animal crimes in a national database. This is a topic that I'll share in another post soon.
And I'm not going to share the details of the ugliness either. Please don't ask. (Yes, people ask!) Let's just say, it's horrific. You know how when you see a movie there's a disclaimer at the end that says "No animals were harmed?" Well, the videos I see don't have that. In fact, harming animals is the entire focus of those videos. The depravity of people is sickening. Some days I don't want to get out of bed. Sometimes the things I've seen haunt my dreams and I wake up sobbing.
On a regular basis people tell me tell me "I could never do your job." That's OK. Some days I can't do it either. There's a fine line between the desire to make a difference and emotional burnout (sometimes called compassion fatigue -- a good topic for a future post).
- I don't do this job for the money. (Even after 14 years of doing this, I still make less than the average assistant manager at McDonalds.)
- I don't do this job for the accolades. (Regular readers know that most of what people say to and about me is ugly!)
- I don't do it for the sexy uniform. (Wonder why I've never shown you a picture of my uniform?)
- Nor do I do this for the (not so) regular hours or (definitely not) clean work environment.
OK, I'm starting bum myself out. Time to wrap this up and go play with the dogs. Later, -- K