Friday, 21 June 2024

Humane Society asks for tough prosecution of cruelty case

LAKE COUNTY – A national animal rights group is getting involved in a local animal cruelty case.

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, announced that it wrote to Lake County District Attorney Jon Hopkins Friday, calling for aggressive investigation and prosecution – if warranted – of two girls accused of microwaving a hamster.

The girls, ages 14 and 15 years old and Lower Lake High School students, were arrested March 31 and remained in Juvenile Hall until April 3, charged with intentional animal cruelty for microwaving the hamster, as Lake County News has reported. The hamster lost three of her four feet but has otherwise recovered.

The teens are due to go to court April 18, according to Clearlake Police Officer Carl Miller, the school resource officer who led the investigation.

"Those who abuse animals can be dangerous to people," said Dale Bartlett, the Humane Society of the United States' deputy manager for animal cruelty issues. "Americans have no tolerance for violence against the creatures who share our world."

The Humane Society, which monitors incidents of cruelty across the United States and provides input to prosecutors in more than 200 cases annually, reported that it also offered Hopkins' office its support and resources.

Humane Society officials reported that getting the serious attention of prosecutors in cases involving allegations of animal cruelty is an essential step in protecting community safety. That's because the connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented.

The group pointed to studies that show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“Strong, carefully considered sentencing that includes incarceration, psychological treatment, and a ban on pet ownership is the most effective available tool for reducing recidivism and interrupting the cycle of criminal behavior,” a Humane Society statement noted.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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