KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Law enforcement officers filled a crowded room at KCK Community College to learn new techniques for combating animal cruelty in their communities.
“Law enforcement is the main frontline that we have in this investigation, in going after people who commit crimes against animals so it's important to empower them with knowledge,” said Dr. Melinda Merck, a forensic veterinarian.
The event was hosted by the Humane Society of the United States.
As slides and different cases were shown, organizers of the event say people involved in animal crimes could be linked to other crimes as well.
“80 percent of all people incarcerated today for crimes against humans, so murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, started with at least five acts of animal cruelty before going to humans,” Kansas Senior State Director for Humane Society, Midge Grinstead said. “So when you look at animal cruelty and the importance of catching it at that level before it goes to the next level.”
Detectives, vet techs and law enforcement from counties throughout Kansas learned about the importance of forensic evidence and making a case.
“Our law enforcement does not go through training in Kansas for animal cruelty investigation,” Grinstead said. “That's why we're here.”
The goal is to get as many officers trained on combating animal cruelty throughout the state of Kansas.
This is the first of four stops in Kansas the Humane Society of the United States will be touring. The next stop will be in Topeka.