Heartland Pet Connection and HPD inform public about types of abuse

Local4 News at 5
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:33 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Local service providers teamed up to inform people about different types of abuse. Heartland Pet Connection and the Hastings Police Department joined forces at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

They provided the information to the local head start, teaching them about the “link.” Meaning any type of abuse is linked to other forms as well, and that any form of abuse can come before the other, but it all goes in a cycle.

“A lot of people don’t understand that when animal abuse is happening within the homes there’s multiple other violence happening within the homes,” Samuel Johnston, HPD Community Service Officer said. “So this presentation was to provide awareness to people, and with head start they do deal with children and families all the time. So this was to hopefully help them understand more.”

Johnston said he hopes Nebraska’s animal cruelty laws change, and offenders receive mandatory sentencing. Those who attended said paying close attention is key.

“As a community be more aware of the wellness of the animals,” Claudia Bedlan, Head Start Teacher said. “In general, if you see dogs in the heat and if we see it, and although the animals in the cold we should just take action and just call 911.”

Bedlan said one of the big takeaways for her is that animal cruelty can be a sign that more abuse is happening in the home. According to a study obtained by HPD, 43 percent of shooters have a history of torturing animals. Making the information provided pivotal to the community.

“It’s just one way we can reach out to the community,” Jennie Theesen, Shelter Manager at Heartland Pet Connection said. “We can provide resources available to them as far as being able to tell them what is out there and available from the city aspect. As far as if they have animal abuse cases to contact our local police department and making sure they’re reaching out to those animal control officers.”

Theesen said contacting a veterinarian for support should be a step taken in the process as well.