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A 19 year-old Brooklyn man was indicted by a grand jury on animal cruelty charges (see below) for throwing his one-year-old dog off the roof of a public housing project, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.
Fabian Henderson faces criminal charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, criminal trespass in the third degree and overdriving, torturing and injuring Animals.
In New York State, these are all misdemeanor charges, not felonies, punishable by much less severe prison sentences.
Perhaps the greatest danger of animal cruelty cases isn't that they involve violence by people against smaller, innocent creatures, but that they are often a precursor to violence against people by the same perpetrator.
A 1997 study found that 71% of women entering a Utah domestic violence shelter "indicated that their boyfriend or husband had either threatened harm to their animals or had engaged in actual maltreatment and/or killing of an animal."
ln 2008, the American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic Violence authored a recommendation urging that protective orders in domestic violence cases be extended to pets. Citing decades of studies showing a correlation between violence against pets and violence against intimate partners, and others, the Commission concluded that:
Killing, harming, threatening, or removing a pet is a form of emotional abuse for the victim and removes a source of comfort and unconditional love for women and children who are already living in a landscape of terror.
Including animals in protective orders is a logical step, the Commission emphasized, to ensure not only the pet's welfare, but also to recognize the psychological and emotional trauma that domestic violence can inflict pets' caregivers and owners.
The criminal animal cruelty case against Oreo's alleged abuser is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Susan Scheuerer in the Brooklyn D.A.'s office.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office has an Animal Crimes Unit headed by Deputy D.A. Carol Moran (inset). Moran has prosecuted animal cruelty cases in the D.A.'s office for twenty-six (26) years.
The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office has filed a total of sixteen (16) animal cruelty cases in 2009, according to Sandy SIlverstein, a spokesperson for District Attorney Charles Hynes.
You can read the grand jury's indictment of Henderson on animal cruelty charges below: