The FBI Animal Cruelty Database
On January 1, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began tracking crimes against animals via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Animal cruelty crimes are now listed in the database as Group A offenses -- the same category as arson, rape and murder. This is the first federal effort to track animal crimes, and it's a major step forward. The NIBRS database will now include all animal cruelty cases investigated by participating law enforcement, which will fall under four categories: gross neglect, torture, organized abuse (such as dogfighting and cockfighting), and sexual abuse (bestiality).
Finally, there will be a national, authoritative resource for animal cruelty information. LCA’s campaign is targeted at increasing participation from citizens and law enforcement for the database to succeed.
How NIBRS Can Succeed
Law enforcement agencies throughout the United States contribute crime data to NIBRS - but their involvement is on a voluntary basis. Of the nearly 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the country - including city police, university/college police, county police and sheriffs, state police, tribal police, and even some federal agencies - only about 30% contribute crime data to NIBRS. If you live in one of the many jurisdictions that does not report to NIBRS, animal crimes that occur in your area are not currently entered into the database.
From LCA interview with FBI Unit Chief Amy Blasher, 2016
In order for animal cruelty to be properly tracked and studied by the FBI, NIBRS must be implemented by law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.
Unfortunately, many of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country -- including the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles police departments -- do not report to NIBRS at all. The FBI animal cruelty database can only succeed if law enforcement agencies participate -- and citizens like you can help make this happen.
From LCA interview with Deputy Executive Director John Thompson, 2016
LCA's Campaign: Animal Cruelty = Human Cruelty
It's a proven fact that serial killers like the Boston Strangler, Son of Sam, and Jeffrey Dahmer tortured and killed animals before they began murdering human victims. LCA actively campaigns against animal abusers because we know where it leads:
- In 2008, Los Angeles Assistant Fire Chief Glynn Johnson beat his neighbors' 6-month-old puppy to death. LCA led numerous demonstrations and vigils mourning the dog's life. At the trial, it was revealed that Glynn was also abusive to his 14-year-old daughter; in one instance, he pushed her to the ground, hit her with his belt buckle and shouted, "I wish you were dead." Unfortunately, Johnson was sentenced to just 90 days in jail and 3 years probation.
- In 2010, 27-year-old Canadian Luka Magnotta began posting videos of himself torturing kittens on the Internet. LCA alerted law enforcement but received no response. In 2012, Magnotta murdered his alleged former lover, Jun Lin, and posted the video online. A manhunt began, and LCA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) helped gather evidence to track Magnotta down. He was eventually caught and sentenced to life in prison.
- In 2015, Chinese exchange student Duanying Chen beat, burned and raped his girlfriend's doberman puppy Davey, who was so badly injured he had to be put to sleep. Chen also abused his girlfriend, and once strangled her until she lost consciousness. The Santa Barbara, California court issued a shockingly lenient sentence, spurring a major protest led by LCA Founder Chris DeRose. After being released from jail after just 6 months, Chen was deported back to his home country.
As Chris DeRose has been saying for years: "There is a direct correlation between animal abuse and violent offenders."
What You Can Do to Help the Database Succeed:
1. Use the map below to check your state's NIBRS participation. If your state does not participate -- or only partially participates -- in NIBRS, use the contact information provided in the map and urge them to join. CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE LETTER.
2. If you live in a state with partial NIBRS participation, check here to see if your local jurisdiction is participating. If your local law enforcement agency is not listed, that means they do currently participate. Contact the agency directly and urge them to join the system. CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE LETTER.
3. Report all animal cruelty, and encourage others to do the same. For the database to succeed, your local law enforcement must be notified of crimes against animals and report them.