A new bill has been proposed in Connecticut that could make protect children and their pets when officials believe one is danger.
Lawmakers are considering bill that would require child-abuse investigators and animal control officers to inform each other of potential abuse in the home.
In addition to heightening awareness, State Rep. Diana Urban, thinks the bill could promote relations between two very similar agencies.
The plan would require the state Department of Families and Children as well as the state Department of Agriculture to share information about maltreatment of both children and animals.
“They’re both watching the atmosphere around the child, or the animal,” said Urban. “Something could click in their head that’s really important.”
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the child and animal abuse are heavily correlated.
A 1997 study conducted by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that a person who committed abuse against a pet was five times more likely to commit violence against people.
Statistics like this have helped rally support from both child and animal advocates.
“I think it’s a very good proposal. It’s another check and balance, another set of eyes, and you can’t be too careful when it comes to ensuring the safety of our children,” said Connecticut State Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein.
Although the bill did not reach the General Assembly for a vote last year, the legislative proposal is expected to be presented in the upcoming weeks.
If approved, Connecticut would join states like Ohio, Maine and Colorado, which already have similar practices in place.