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January 25
1915 - Death of pre-Mentry oilman & San Francisquito vintner Ramon Perea [story]
Perea grave marker


SACRAMENTO – The State Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 580 on Tuesday, the Animal Cruelty & Violence Intervention Act of 2019, introduced by State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, to change the way California handles animal abuse offenders.

“Animal abuse crimes are serious and should be treated seriously,” said Wilk, himself the parent of two dogs. “The link between individuals who abuse animals and those who go on to commit crimes against humans is real. By ensuring animal abusers receive the mental health assessments needed we will be taking a step forward in breaking that link.”

Senate Bill 580 will require the most serious offenders convicted under animal abuse crimes to undergo mandatory mental health assessments and, at the discretion of the court, to attend ongoing counseling. The bill also allows a judge to assign less serious offenders to a state-approved humane treatment education course to teach them proper techniques for interacting with animals in a positive way.

Wilk cited studies showing that 90 percent of mass shooting suspects, half of all school shooters, and 71 percent of domestic violence offenders had serious animal abuse in their histories.

“Animal abuse is often the first act of violence committed by a troubled individual. Intervening with mental health assessments, and/or counseling at that early stage could save human lives down the road,” said Wilk. “This bill will not only protect innocent animals, it will also help mental health experts get someone the help they need to avoid escalating their crimes to include humans.”

Law enforcement leaders, Animal rights groups – including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the California Police Chiefs Association, the Humane Society of the United States, Social Compassion in Legislation and a number of individuals – are all in support of SB 580.

Senate Bill 580 now goes to the Assembly.

Senator Wilk represents the 21st Senate District which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor Valleys.

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2 Comments

  1. travis levy says:

    And never allowed to own an animals again.

  2. As a retired State Certified Animal Control Officer who saw the results inflicted on animals for 20+ yrs. it’s about time this option is enacted! In years gone by some Judges determined community service at an animal shelter would work wonders! Like putting a kid in a candy shop or a bill in a China shop! We officers were trained to determine animal abuse and then if children resided at the perpetrators residence we were to determine if the abuse pattern was then carried out on children and then report that suspected behavior. This was all due to serial killers having started their road to abuse with animals! Kudos.

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