Law Requires Cross-Reporting Child and Animal Abuse

State agencies prepare to share evidence of abuse.

By LeAnne Gendreau
|  Thursday, Jul 21, 2011  |  Updated 8:27 AM EDT
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Law Requires Cross-Reporting Child and Animal Abuse

Agencies that investigate abuse of children and animals will have to share information.

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State agencies that deal with animal abuse are preparing to share that information with authorities that investigate abuse of spouses and children.

On Oct. 1, the law goes into effect that requires animal control officers and social workers with the state Department of Children and Families to share information on cases.

“Statistics show us that when an animal is being abused in a household, there is an 80 percent chance that a child in the same household is also being abused. This bill sends a strong message that animal cruelty will be taken seriously in Connecticut,” North Stonington State Rep. Diana Urban, who pushed for the law, said in a written statement.

An animal control officer who suspects that an animal has been harmed or treated cruelly will be required to file a petition with the Superior Court and submit a report to the agriculture commissioner and Department of Children and Families employees who suspect that an animal has been harmed must also report to the agriculture commissioner.

The DCF commissioner must also make training available to all animal control officers on the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

West Virginia and Illinois also require cross-reporting, but Connecticut's law won't make animal control officers mandated reporters of child abuse, like teachers and doctors.

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