Amarillo, TX - Animal cruelty has become a big issue in America, so the FBI will now track animal cruelty.
This year the FBI created a national database just of animal cruelty cases. Their involvement stemmed from the National Sheriff's Association and the Animal Welfare Institute's proposals, which requested the Uniform Crime Reporting Program to make animal cruelty a separate offense in the National Incident Based Reporting System.
That system houses criminal history like rape, murder, and now animal abuse.
The FBI defines cruelty to animals 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."
Animal abuse cases reported will be divided into four categories: animal neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse (dog or cock fighting), and animal sexual abuse.
Debra Hall, Facility Manager at Amarillo SPCA, said animal cruelty is a major issue in Amarillo. "I have been in this businesses for probably 8 years and I have seen some of the worse cases of animal abuse here in Amarillo," Hall said.
She thinks the involvement of the FBI will give animals a voice.
"They look for you for everything, they look for you to take care of them, for you to nurture them, for you to feed them," Hall said. "Who are they going to talk to, who is the voice that is going to speak up for these animals?"
The FBI plans to use the data entered to find patterns and identify ways to prevent animal cruelty.
Hall believes the new database will help cut down cruelty.
"I mean these guys keep repeating and doing it and doing it," Hall said. "They're going to keep doing it and if they don't put a stop to it right now, like I said, they are going to keep doing it and who knows what else it might escalate to."