For Immediate Release:
5 September 2016
Group Hopes to Nab Person(s) Responsible for Appalling Cruelty
Wonnerup – Graphic images have surfaced of a dog who was tied to a sledgehammer and dumped in the water in Wonnerup, near Busselton. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia is offering up to $5,000 as a reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of anyone who may have been responsible for this horrific crime.
Because animals cannot report abuse and can do little to fight back, they’re often used as “practice” victims by those who tend towards violence.
Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty against animals often go on to commit violent acts against their fellow humans. As long as the perpetrator of this crime is at large, other animals – including humans – might also be in danger. Dr John Clarke, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Sydney and consultant to the New South Wales Police Force, used police data to demonstrate that 61.5 per cent of convicted animal abusers had also committed an assault against humans and 17 per cent were also guilty of sexual abuse. Most disturbingly, animal abuse was a better predictor of sexual assault than previous convictions for homicide, arson, or firearms offences. Only 1 per cent of cruelty-to-animals offenders had no other convictions.
The world’s most notorious serial killers – including Jeffrey Dahmer, Dennis Rader, and Albert DeSalvo, better known as the “Boston Strangler” – have long, documented histories of harming animals. In Australia, murderers such as Paul Denyer, John Travers, and Ivan Milat tortured and killed animals before turning to human victims.
“Animal abusers are cowards”, says PETA Australia Associate Director of Campaigns Ashley Fruno. “We’re appealing to anyone with information about this cruel act to come forward so that the perpetrators can be put where they belong: in jail.”
Cruelty to animals in Western Australia carries a penalty of up to $50,000 or five years’ imprisonment under the Animal Welfare Act 2002. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the RSPCA on 1300 278 3589.
For more information about cruelty to animals, please visit PETA.org.au.