Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence News Conference – AZ Animal Welfare League


[SHOW THEME MUSIC]>>GOOD MORNING TO ALL OF YOU. THANK YOU FOR COMING, AND
THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS SITUATION THAT WE’RE IN THESE DAYS. I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE
THIS IN MY ENTIRE LIFETIME, AND THAT’S FOR A LONG TIME. I TELL PEOPLE THAT I’M OLDER
THAN DIRT. I CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS
DOMESTIC ISSUE IS CRITICAL. WE REALLY NEED TO WORK ON IT. GOOD MORNING, AND THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR BEING HERE TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH. I’D LIKE TO THANK OUR EVENT
HOSTS, THE ARIZONA ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE, ARIZONA’S OLDEST
AND LARGEST NO-KILL SHELTER. THE ARIZONA ANIMAL WELFARE
LEAGUE, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS AAWL, REHABILITATES AND FINDS NEW
HOMES FOR DOGS, CATS, PUPPIES, AND KITTENS THROUGHOUT THE STATE
OF ARIZONA. THESE ARE ANIMALS THAT HAVE BEEN
SURRENDERED, ABANDONED, ABUSED, AND NEGLECTED. THE ANIMALS YOU SEE HERE TODAY
EACH HAVE THEIR OWN STORY OF ABUSE, AND WE’LL HEAR FROM A
COUPLE OF THEM IN A FEW MINUTES. THROUGH ITS ANTI-BULLYING AND
HUMANE EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH, AAWL IS EDUCATING THE
NEXT GENERATION OF ANIMAL ADVOCATES. THESE PROGRAMS TEACH COMPASSION
FOR LIVING THINGS, AND RESPECTFUL WAYS TO INTERACT WITH
THOSE AROUND THEM, BOTH HUMAN AND ANIMAL. I GREW UP ON A FARM. I UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANT ROLE
ANIMALS PLAY IN OUR LIVES. NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF ARIZONANS
AND AMERICANS HAVE PETS IN OUR HOMES. PETS GIVE US UNCONDITIONAL LOVE,
AND LOSING THEM CAN BE DEVASTATING. MY DAUGHTER’S FAMILY, WHICH
INCLUDES MY GRANDSON, A TEN-YEAR-OLD YOUNG MAN, RECENTLY
LOST THEIR FAMILY PET, AND I’VE SEEN HOW TRAUMATIC IT CAN BE. HE GREW UP WITH HIS LITTLE
BROTHER, THE DOG, CALLED TAYLOR. SEVENTY-ONE PERCENT OF DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE VICTIM REPORTS THAT THEIR ABUSER HAS ALSO TARGETED
THEIR PET. AN ESTIMATED ONE MILLION ANIMALS
ARE ABUSED OR KILLED EACH YEAR IN CONNECTION WITH DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE. JUST LAST WEEK, LOCAL MEDIA
REPORTED ON RECENT ANIMAL CRUELTY INCIDENTS WITH
CONNECTIONS TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, A TIMELY REMINDER OF
THIS DISTURBING TREND. BECAUSE LAW ENFORCEMENT IS STILL
INVESTIGATING THESE INCIDENTS, IN A FEW MOMENTS, WE’LL SHARE
WITH YOU OTHER STORIES OF ANIMAL CRUELTY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN ADJUDICATED. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES CAN BEGIN
WITH A FEW CHAMPIONS, AND BIG DEDICATION TO MAKING A
DIFFERENCE. YOU’RE ALL HERE BECAUSE YOU’RE
COMMITTED TO CHANGE, TO MAKING THIS DIFFERENCE. THANK YOU FOR THE LIVES YOU
TOUCH AND SAVE EVERY DAY. THE M.A.G. REGIONAL COUNCIL IS
FIRMLY DEDICATED TO ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. ON SEPTEMBER 27th, WE PASSED A
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF OCTOBER AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS
MONTH. IN YOUR MATERIALS TODAY, YOU’LL
FIND A COPY OF THE RESOLUTION. YOU WILL ALSO FIND A COPY OF THE
2017 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH CALENDAR, AS WELL AS A
FACT SHEET AND RESOURCES. THERE ARE EVENTS HAPPENING
THROUGHOUT THE REGION, BECAUSE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AFFECTS ALL
COMMUNITIES. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO ATTEND THE
EVENTS, AND INVITE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. IT IS NOW MY PLEASURE TO
INTRODUCE ANOTHER PASSIONATE LEADER, COUNCIL MEMBER
DANIEL VALENZUELA.>>HI, I’M DANIEL VALENZUELA,
PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, AND I’M HONORED TO REPRESENT THE
MAYOR, THE COUNCIL, AND OUR CITY STAFF FOR THIS MORNING’S PRESS
CONFERENCE. FIRST WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU,
MAYOR MECK, FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
IN THE REGION. IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE CHAMPIONS
LIKE MAYOR MECK AND SEVERAL OTHERS THAT WE WILL BE HEARING
FROM, AND LIKE-MINDED CHAMPIONS WHO COULD NOT BE HERE. EVERY YEAR IN ARIZONA, MORE THAN
100 PEOPLE LOSE THEIR LIVES DUE TO PARTNER OR FAMILY VIOLENCE. IT IS A PRICE PAID TOO OFTEN BY
TOO MANY VICTIMS, AND MANY OF THOSE VICTIMS REMAIN IN DANGER,
OFTEN FEARFUL OF LEAVING THEIR PETS BEHIND AS TARGET ABUSE. UNDERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN
ANIMAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS IMPORTANT FOR LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND INVESTIGATORS, SO THEY CAN COLLECT THE RIGHT
KINDS OF EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION. IN ADDITION, RAISING AWARENESS
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY ABOUT THIS CONNECTION CAN HELP IN
IDENTIFYING, REPORTING, AND ULTIMATELY SAVING LIVES OF BOTH
HUMANS AND PETS OUR FAMILIES LOVE. THE CITY OF PHOENIX IS
COMMITTED TO ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. THIS YEAR MARKS THE FIFTH YEAR
OF OUR “PAINT PHOENIX PURPLE” CAMPAIGN, WHICH AIMS TO INCREASE
AWARENESS AND PROMOTE ACCESS TO RESOURCES THROUGH YOUTH
ENGAGEMENT, COMMUNITY EDUCATION, AND INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH
THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY. WE ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGING OUR
RESIDENTS TO THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTIONS TO FAMILY VIOLENCE. THIS EVENT IS BEING HELD IN
PHOENIX, BUT BY NO MEANS IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONFINED TO
ANY ONE COMMUNITY. IT AFFECTS EVERY CITY, EVERY
TOWN, EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD ACROSS OUR STATE. NOW I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE
ANOTHER CHAMPION OF ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ANIMAL
ABUSE, MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF PAUL PENZONE.>>THANK YOU TO MY COLLEAGUES
HERE AND COUNCILMAN VALENZUELA COME TOGETHER, ALONG WITH YOU,
ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT DAY TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE. IF YOU DON’T MIND, I’D ACTUALLY
LIKE TO GO BACK IN TIME AND SHARE SOME PERSONAL STORIES
WITH YOU. IN 1988, WHILE I WAS
INTERVIEWING TO BECOME A POLICE OFFICER WITH THE CITY OF
PHOENIX, THEY ASKED ME WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE A POLICE OFFICER? I REMEMBER MY ANSWER VERY
SPECIFICALLY TO THIS DAY. I SAID, “BECAUSE I DON’T LIKE
BULLIES, AND I FEEL IT’S MY RESPONSIBILITY TO STAND BETWEEN
THE BULLY AND THAT POTENTIAL VICTIM.” WHETHER IT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
OR CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS, THE PERPETRATORS ARE NOTHING MORE OR
LESS THAN BULLIES. THEY CHOOSE THEIR VICTIMS NOT
BECAUSE THEIR VICTIMS ARE HELPLESS OR VULNERABLE, IT IS
BECAUSE THEIR VICTIMS GIVE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, AND THEY SEE
THAT GIFT AS A WEAKNESS. THEY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE WITH ABUSE AND VIOLENCE. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT CAN NEVER
BE TOLERATED IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE OR CIVILIZED SOCIETY. WE MUST COLLECTIVELY STAND
AGAINST IT. WHEN I BECAME AN OFFICER, I HAD
THE OPPORTUNITY WHILE AT SILENT WITNESS TO START ONE OF THE
FIRST REWARD PROGRAMS IN THE STATE, AND POSSIBLY IN THE
NATION, ALONG WITH ANOTHER ADVOCACY GROUP, THE HUMANE
SOCIETY. I REMEMBER WHEN THEY APPROACHED
ME WITH THIS PROGRAM, SAYING THAT THEY WANTED TO OFFER THE
REWARDS, IF WE WOULD WORK IN PARTNERSHIP TO IDENTIFY SUSPECTS
WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS. INITIALLY, THERE WAS SOME
CAUTION, BECAUSE WHAT WE DID NOT WANT TO DO IS MISREPRESENT OUR
COMMITMENT TO OUR HUMAN VICTIMS, AND THAT WE WANTED TO ALSO SHOW
THE RESPECT AND THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT CRIMES
AGAINST ANY OF US, WHETHER IT’S OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS OR FAMILY
MEMBERS, WHEN IT COMES TO VIOLENCE, ARE NO DIFFERENT. OUR MESSAGE WAS VERY PLAIN AND
SIMPLE. AGAIN, ANYONE WHO IS A BULLY,
WHO CHOOSES VIOLENCE TO INTIMIDATE OR HURT OTHERS, MUST
BE TARGETED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE, AND WE MUST BE
INTOLERANT OF THESE ACTS. AS A PET OWNER, I UNDERSTAND THE
LOVE AND COMPASSION THAT IS GIVEN FROM ANIMALS EVERY DAY. AS A HUSBAND, I RECOGNIZE THE
BEAUTY AND THE COMPASSION THAT MY WIFE, AND THE STRENGTH THAT
SHE BRINGS EVERY DAY. AND FOR ANY OF US TO STAND BY
AND ALLOW ANYONE OUT THERE TO BE A BULLY AND TO TARGET THOSE THAT
ARE MOST LOVING IN OUR SOCIETY, SPEAKS IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
ABOUT WHO WE ARE AS PEOPLE. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT WE CAN
ADDRESS. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT WE CAN
STOP, AND IT’S AN ISSUE THAT WE MUST STOP. AS THE SHERIFF NOW, I CAN TELL
YOU THAT WE ARE CONVICTED TO A PRACTICE THAT HAS GONE ON LONG
BEFORE I BECAME SHERIFF, WHICH IS THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
DEDICATES TIME AND DEPUTIES TO THE INVESTIGATION OF CRIMES
AGAINST ANIMALS. WHEN IT COMES TO DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE, WE CONTINUALLY STRIVE TO BECOME EXPERTS, BECAUSE
ALTHOUGH THE ACTIONS ARE BRUTAL IN NATURE, AND VERY MUCH A
VIOLENT ACT, THE SOPHISTICATION OF THE INVESTIGATIONS REQUIRES
EXPERTISE. IT REQUIRES THE ABILITY TO BRING
CASES TOGETHER SO THAT WE CAN PROSECUTE AND HOLD PEOPLE
ACCOUNTABLE. IN MY JAILS, WE HAVE THE WORST
EXAMPLES OF THESE ATROCITIES IN SOME OF THE MEN THAT ARE IN
THERE THAT HAVE BEEN VIOLENT IN MANY, MANY WAYS. WE WILL HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. AT THE SAME TIME, WE ARE
COMMITTED NOW TO ACTUALLY IMPROVING ON AND BUILDING A NEW
M.A.S.H. FACILITY, WHERE WE CAN PROVIDE APPROPRIATE CARE FOR
THESE ANIMALS THAT HAVE BEEN ABUSED, AND PUT THEM IN AN
ENVIRONMENT THAT’S HEALTHY. AT THE SAME TIME, WE WILL CALL
ON OUR DETAINEES TO ACT AS THEIR CARETAKERS, TO LEARN ABOUT
COMPASSION AND RESPONSIBILITY, WITH THE HOPES THAT WE CAN
CHANGE HEARTS AND MINDS AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE, NOT
ONLY FOR ANIMALS, BUT FOR WOMEN IN OUR SOCIETY WHEN THESE MEN
LEAVE THE JAIL, WHICH THEY EVENTUALLY WILL. IT IS MY COMMITMENT AS A SHERIFF
AND OUR COMMITMENT AS AN ORGANIZATION THAT PROTECTING THE
WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS WILL ALWAYS BE A
TOP PRIORITY. WE WILL LOOK TO LEARN FROM OUR
PARTNERS THAT COME FROM MANY, MANY DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS, SO
WE CAN WORK COLLABORATIVELY. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, I
CALL ON OUR COMMUNITY TO STAND STRONG BY THOSE WHO ARE VICTIMS,
AND GIVE THEM THE SUPPORT THEY NEED. TO CALL ON RESOURCES, AND TO
CALL ON LAW ENFORCEMENT WHEN YOU SEE THESE THINGS OCCURRING, AND
BE THAT PERSON WHO HAS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP AND SAY,
“NO, NO, NO, I’M NOT GOING TO ALLOW FOR YOU TO BE VICTIMIZED
BECAUSE YOU ARE A COMPASSIONATE, LOVING PERSON, OR AN ANIMAL THAT
GIVES LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. YOU DESERVE TO BE PROTECTED, AND
WE’RE GOING TO STAND WITH YOU.” I THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE
TODAY. THIS IS NOT A ONE-DAY EVENT. THIS IS A LIFETIME COMMITMENT,
AND I’M HAPPY TO STAND HERE WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BE A PART OF
THIS PROCESS. WITH THAT, I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE
ALISON FERRANTE FROM THE CITY OF MESA’S
PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE. I WAS SUPPOSED TO INTRODUCE YOU? IT’S NOT ON MY SCRIPT HERE. I’M GOING TO LET YOU BE OUR OWN.>>QUITE OBVIOUSLY, I AM NOT
ALISON. I THINK THIS IS PAYBACK FOR
SPILLING COFFEE ON THE SHERIFF AT THE LAST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
TRAINING. THANK YOU. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. IT’S SO IMPORTANT THAT WE SEE
THE SUPPORT FOR ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND ENDING THE ANIMAL
ABUSE THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT. IF YOU’LL NOTICE, THE ANIMALS
OVER HERE ALL HAVE THEIR PURPLE SCARVES ON, AS EVERYONE WHO HAS
SPOKEN HAS THEIR PURPLE, AND I HAVE MY PAW PRINT, SO THAT IT
GOES TOGETHER, PURPLE PAWS. I WANTED TO TAKE THIS
OPPORTUNITY TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE M.A.G. REGIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
COUNCIL, AND WORKING COOPERATIVELY TO END DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE IN THE REGION. THE COUNCIL PLAYS AN IMPORTANT
ROLE IN BRINGING TOGETHER ELECTED OFFICIALS, HEALTH CARE
PROFESSIONALS, PROSECUTORS, POLICE, SERVICE PROVIDERS, AND
PRIVATE FUNDERS. IT PROVIDES A FORUM FOR
COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATED ACTION TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS,
PREVENT, AND ERADICATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE M.A.G. REGION,
AND HOPEFULLY BEYOND THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE FOR YOUTH, FAITH, AND FAMILY FOR ITS
CONTINUED SUPPORT OF THE PROTOCOL EVALUATION PROJECT
THROUGH S.T.O.P. FUNDS THAT ARE MAKING TODAY’S EVENT POSSIBLE. THE PROTOCOL EVALUATION PROJECT
IS A COORDINATED, MULTI-DISCIPLINARY EFFORT THAT
ASSESSES CURRENT PROTOCOLS AND PRACTICES USED BY LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND PROSECUTORS WHEN RESPONDING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
OFFENDERS. TOGETHER, WE SHARE BEST
PRACTICES. ASKING OURSELVES THE HARD
QUESTIONS, AND PUSHING TO IMPROVE THE REGION’S RESPONSE TO
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. WE’RE PROVIDING INNOVATIVE
TOOLS, COMPREHENSIVE TRAININGS, AND FORGING CONTACTS AND
PARTNERSHIPS THAT MAKE THIS POSSIBLE. TOGETHER, WE ARE IMPLEMENTING
CHANGES THAT ARE NEEDED TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ONE LIFE
AT A TIME. I AM SO VERY, VERY PROUD TO BE A
PART OF THIS EFFORT. NOW, I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE
ALISON FERRANTE WITH THE MESA PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE.>>THANK YOU, COUNCIL MEMBER
BARKER, FOR THE INTRODUCTION, AND MY ESTEEMED COLLEAGUES. THANK YOU FOR THE M.A.G. REGIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
COUNCIL FOR ITS DEDICATION IN ADDRESSING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
ISSUES, AND FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TODAY TO TALK TO ALL
OF YOU ABOUT THIS LINK THAT’S ALWAYS DEADLY AND OFTEN
DANGEROUS LINK TO ANIMAL ABUSE. AS A PROSECUTOR, I SEE FIRSTHAND
HOW ANIMAL CRUELTY CASES CAN BE PRECURSOR CRIMES, AND MUST BE
TAKEN SERIOUSLY. ANIMAL ABUSE SHOULD BE VIEWED AS
AN INDICATOR OF OTHER POSSIBLE VIOLENCE AND DEADLY CRIMINAL
BEHAVIOR, INCLUDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. THE CORRELATION BETWEEN VIOLENCE
AGAINST ANIMALS AND VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE HAS BEEN TERMED,
“THE LINK.” CRUELTY TOWARDS ANIMALS AND
VIOLENCE TOWARDS PEOPLE DOES HAVE A COMMON DENOMINATOR. ALL THE VICTIMS FEEL PAIN. THEY EXPERIENCE FEELINGS
OF TERROR, AND THEY CAN DIE FROM THEIR INJURIES. ONE THING FOR SURE IS THAT
MOST OF US IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE PETS. WE ALL FORM A VERY STRONG BOND
WITH THOSE PETS, AND MANY OF US CONSIDER PETS TO BE OUR FAMILY
MEMBERS. BECAUSE OF THAT STRONG BOND THAT
PETS HAVE WITH THE PEOPLE, OFTENTIMES ABUSERS WILL EXPLOIT
THAT, AND THEY WILL THREATEN TO HARM OR KILL AN ANIMAL, THEREBY
EXERTING TERROR AND CONTROL OVER THE VICTIM. MANY VICTIMS WILL NOT LEAVE
THEIR ABUSER FOR FEAR THAT THEIR PET WILL BE HARMED OR KILLED. CASES WITH DOMESTIC AND ANIMAL
ABUSE OCCUR FAR MORE OFTEN THAN WE THINK. ONE IN FOUR WOMEN AND ONE IN
SEVEN MEN WILL EXPERIENCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THEIR
LIFETIMES. MANY OF THESE VICTIMS WILL ALSO
SEE THEIR PETS TARGETED AS FURTHER MEANS OF ISOLATING
AND CONTROLLING THOSE VICTIMS. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT WE DON’T
TAKE LIGHTLY IN ARIZONA. ARIZONA HAS PASSED SOME LAWS
THAT AID VICTIMS. FOR EXAMPLE, FOR ORDERS OF
PROTECTION, PETS CAN NOW BE INCLUDED ALONGSIDE THE VICTIMS. IN ADDITION, FOR FELONY ANIMAL
CRUELTY CASES THAT OCCUR IN THE FAMILY SETTING, WE CAN NOW
INCLUDE AN ALLEGATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS PART OF THE
CHARGES, AND FOR PLEA NEGOTIATIONS, MANY TIMES
PROSECUTORS WILL INCLUDE — REQUIRE, RATHER, THAT DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE COUNSELING BE PART OF THE PLEA, AND THAT THE ABUSER
COMPLETE THAT MANDATED TREATMENT. ALSO, IT’S NOT ENOUGH, THOUGH. THE LEGISLATURE, LAW
ENFORCEMENT, THE JUDGES, THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE, MUST TAKE
THESE CASES SERIOUSLY. SENTENCING FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY
CASES IS OFTEN CONSIDERED LIGHT, BUT WITH THE IMPARTING OF THE
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THIS LINK, AND RECENTLY, THE FBI HAS NOW
REQUIRED THAT ANIMAL CRIMES BE REPORTED TO THE UNIFORM CRIME
REPORT, NOT AS AN “OTHER OFFENSE,” BUT AS ITS
OWN SEPARATE OFFENSE, ALONGSIDE HOMICIDE AND ARSON. IT’S HOPEFUL THAT THE SENTENCING
WILL CHANGE. STANDING BESIDE ME TODAY ARE
SOME VICTIMS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY. THERE’S ALSO SOME PICTURES OF
VICTIMS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY AND ABUSE. I’M GOING TO SHARE SOME STORIES
WITH YOU NOW REGARDING SOME OF THE CASES THAT I’VE SEEN, AND
SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SEEN AS WELL. YOU WOULDN’T GUESS IT, BUT ALL
THESE LOVING VICTIMS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY WERE ONCE LIVING IN VERY
INHUMANE AND NEGLECTFUL CONDITIONS. THE FIRST STORY THAT I’M GOING
TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY IS ABOUT RALPH. RALPH WAS A BOXADOR THAT WAS
LIVING IN A YARD IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST, WHICH AS WE ALL KNOW
IN ARIZONA, IT’S VERY, VERY HOT IN ARIZONA IN AUGUST. A NEIGHBOR CALLED TO REPORT THAT
A PUPPY HAD COLLAPSED AND IT WAS LIVING IN A WIRE PEN IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE YARD WITHOUT ANY WATER. UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT ARRIVED, THE PUPPY HAD DIED, BUT THEY ALSO
DISCOVERED RALPH. RALPH HAD A SEVERE INJURY TO HIS
EYE AND A DENT ON HIS HEAD THAT HADN’T BEEN MEDICALLY TREATED. AS THE OFFICERS WERE CONDUCTING
THE INVESTIGATION, THEY ALSO FOUND THAT THE DEFENDANT’S
LITTLE DAUGHTER WAS LIVING INSIDE THE HOME IN EXTREMELY
NEGLECTFUL CONDITIONS, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES WAS
ALSO CALLED TO INVESTIGATE. RALPH ULTIMATELY WAS SEIZED AND
GIVEN THE MEDICAL TREATMENT THAT HE NEEDED, AND HE DID SURVIVE
AND WAS ADOPTED BY ANOTHER MEMBER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. IN ANOTHER CASE, A VICTIM OF
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CALLED 911 TO REPORT THAT HER FIANCE
WAS IN A RAGE, AND THAT HE HAD STRANGLED HER
LITTLE MALTESE TO THE POINT OF DEFECATION, AND HAD GRABBED THE
LITTLE DOG AND THREW IT DOWN THE STAIRS. SHE TRIED TO CALL 911 TWICE, BUT
HE GRABBED HER ARM AND WAS CAUSING SO MUCH PAIN THAT
SHE RAN TO HER NEIGHBOR’S TO CALL 911. SOBBING, SHE EXPLAINED TO THE
DISPATCHER THAT SHE BELIEVED HER LITTLE DOG WAS DEAD. SHE ALSO EXPLAINED THAT SHE WAS
NURSING A BLACK EYE FROM A PREVIOUS ABUSIVE INCIDENT
INVOLVING THE SAME DEFENDANT, AND ON THAT SAME DAY THAT HE
STRANGLED HER LITTLE DOG, HE ALSO CAUSED INJURIES TO HER TO
INCLUDE BRUISING AND SCRATCHES TO HER BODY. AS WE WERE PREPARING THE
PROSECUTION, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT HE HAD ALREADY HAD A
CONVICTION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST HER IN A JURISDICTION
NORTH OF PHOENIX, AND A YEAR AFTER THIS INCIDENT OCCURRED, HE
WAS AGAIN ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST THE SAME
VICTIM. UNFORTUNATELY, MANY ANIMALS ARE
NOT AS LUCKY AS RALPH WAS. IN MAY OF LAST YEAR, BRENDON
GEBHARDT BEAT HIS GIRLFRIEND’S CAT TO DEATH WITH A CAT CARRIER
AND SCRATCH POLE BECAUSE HE WAS JEALOUS OF THE RELATIONSHIP THAT
SHE HAD WITH THE CAT. IN OCTOBER OF LAST YEAR, BLAINE
NEZ WAS IN A RAGE, AND HIS FEARFUL CHILDREN RAN OUT OF
THEIR HOUSE. WHEN THEY SAW THAT HE HAD LEFT
THE HOUSE, THEY WENT BACK INSIDE, AND FOUND THAT HE HAD
WRITTEN IN GANG SYMBOLS IN PERMANENT MARKER ON THE WALLS,
HOPING TO TERRORIZE THEM INTO NOT CALLING THE POLICE. HORRIFICALLY, WHEN THEY WENT
INTO ONE OF THE CHILDREN’S ROOMS, THEY HAD FOUND THAT HE
HAD STOMPED THREE CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES TO DEATH. WHEN OFFICERS LATER FOUND HIM,
THEY NOTICED THAT HE HAD BLOOD ON THE BOTTOM OF HIS SHOES. THEN IN MAY OF LAST YEAR,
PATRICK THOMPSON WAS ACTING ERRATICALLY. HIS FAMILY WAS FEARFUL OF WHAT
HE WAS DOING AND HOW HE WAS ACTING, AND AT ONE POINT HE
GATHERED ALL OF THEM IN THE MASTER BEDROOM OF THE HOME. HE TOLD THEM THAT ONE OF THE
MALE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY HAD TO BE SACRIFICED, EITHER
HIMSELF, THEIR YOUNG SON, OR THE FAMILY DOG. HE GRABBED THE FAMILY POODLE,
SPARKY, PLACED THE DOG BETWEEN HIS LEGS, AND STARTED GRABBING
AT THE DOG’S HEAD. HE EVENTUALLY SNAPPED THE LITTLE
DOG’S NECK. THE FAMILY FEARFULLY TRIED TO
FLEE FROM THE ROOM, AND HE GRABBED ONE OF THE DAUGHTERS
BACK INTO THE ROOM AND THEN THREW THE STILL-ALIVE SPARKY
INTO A SMOKER, WHERE THE DOG SUCCUMBED TO INJURIES, HEAD
TRAUMA, AND SMOKE INHALATION. WHEN POLICE ARRIVED, THE FAMILY
RAN INTO THE ARMS OF THE OFFICERS AND STATED THAT THE
DEFENDANT HAD KILLED THE FAMILY DOG IN FRONT OF THEM. THESE ARE JUST BUT A FEW OF THE
CASES THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT DEALS WITH EVERY DAY. THESE TYPES OF CRIMES ARE
INTENDED TO EXERT POWER AND CONTROL OVER THE VICTIMS, AND
CAN LEAVE THEM FEELING ISOLATED AND TERRORIZED AND AFRAID TO
LEAVE FOR FEAR OF FUTURE VIOLENCE AGAINST THEMSELVES,
OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS, OR PETS. WE ALL APPRECIATE THIS
OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THIS ISSUE TODAY. IF VICTIMS UNDERSTAND THAT THIS
IS A MEANS OF CONTROL THAT IS UNDERSTOOD BY LAW ENFORCEMENT,
ALL OF US AS A COMMUNITY, AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, THEY MAY BE
MORE WILLING TO COME FORWARD FOR HELP. IF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE
COURTS CONTINUE TO HOLD ABUSERS OF HUMANS AND ANIMALS ALIKE
RESPONSIBLE, MAYBE WE CAN PREVENT ONGOING OR RECURRENT
ABUSE. AS WE ENTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
AWARENESS MONTH, LET US ALL BE TRULY AWARE THAT THERE ARE MANY
COMPLICATED FORMS OF ABUSE THAT CAN BE ADDRESSED THROUGH
COORDINATED, CONSISTENT EFFORTS. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE
TODAY, AND YOUR COMMITTED EFFORTS TO ENDING ANIMAL ABUSE
AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. WITH THE HELP OF THE COMMUNITY,
LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND THE COURTS, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN
SAVING THE LIVES OF LOVED ONES. THANK YOU.>>THIS CONCLUDES OUR PROGRAM. AS YOU CAN SEE, IT’S A VERY
SERIOUS SITUATION. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE
TODAY, AND LET’S KEEP GOING PURPLE. GOOD DAY. CLOSED CAPTION PRODUCTIONS
ccproductions.com
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1 thought on “Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence News Conference – AZ Animal Welfare League

  1. I'd thought that aawl was a great place to host a domestic violence conference. So sad when pets are often the victims as well

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