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Animal abuse relates to human mistreatment

Updated on March 1, 2012
Eldrup | Source

An Illinois court recently ruled that a woman convicted of abuse and neglect while running a puppy mill could return to her job as the caregiver to two elderly dementia patients. The courts indicated that the pair required her care; There had never been accusations of elder abuse; and the woman -a professional caregiver - was entitled while on probation to make a living.
But were the courts correct? Probably not.

Dozens of animals reportedly died from dehydration and starvation at Muddy Paws in Deer Park, Illinois. Owner Diane Eldrup, 48, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and animal torture. She was convicted on all charges, but escape prison time, in part to return to her job as a senior citizen care giver.

Speaking for the animals who suffered there, a leading animal activist in the area stated tearing down the property buildings was “secondary to prosecuting the woman who did this, trengthening our laws and creating better laws to protect animals in the future,” Wisniewski said. “It is an ongoing frustration who w little people have knowledge of abuse and neglect of animals-that’s the bigger picture of the whole thing.”

Since that statement, with the combined efforts of animal rescue agencies and the municipality, structures on that site have been demolished and all animal remains disposed of in a healthful and dignified manner.

In all, bodies of 37 animals were found on the property in Demcember of 2010. Deer Park Village administrators said they believed that not only was the shelter closed down but that the property also was in foreclosure.

The shelter's issues began in 2009 when inspectors from the Illinois Department of Agriculture filed charges after an inspection stating that excessive animal waste was found in and around kennels.

The state dropped the charges when Eldrup reported that she would close the kennel and refrain from doing any other business involving animals.

This year, when the property was cleared as a crime scene, animal rescue volunteers continued to return to the property to repeatedly check on it's status. With their vigilance, more animal bodies were located.

During the trial Eldrup admitted she continued to accept sickly dogs from other overcrowded shelters but became overwhelmed.

Even as animals diede, she claimed she didn't see the suffering around her. Could someone who admitted to failing to note enough suffering to lead to death by starvation, see the suffering of an elderly individual who might, like an animal, be unable to speak for themselves?

So graphic was the testimony of witnesses describing dead dogs, that one woman left the courtroom, vomiting. If even the words were enough to evoke such strong emotion, how could one fail to see it? Could they be counted on to see other issues?

For years non animal people have laughed at the animal rights activists who championed animal rights legislation.Individuals complain that passing laws to make animal abuse a felony waste the court's time. Others argue there are enough human issues that need to be addressed; animal issues should be back burnered.
But psychologists take another position in this issue. They claim there is a distinct relationship between the way humans interact with animals and how they interact with each others.
Among those facts backing experts up are:
most serial killers have a history of animal torture prior to working their way up to humans. Serial killer Jeffery Dalmer tortured, killed and buried animal bones as far back as childhood.
More than 85 percent of those convicted of domestic violence had either made threats against or physically attacked a partner's pet. While these abusers do recognize that humans and either animals develop deep bonds, they recognize this bond for exploitation, not enjoyment.

Even a recent article in the on line newsletter Pet Call, put out by the American Veteranarian Association, noted that negligence and abuse in animals often leads to violence against people.

So even for those non-animal lovers, in the face of mounting imperical evidence, those who commit violence acts against animals should see the need for strong criminal justice intervention.

Otherwise those same folks will just have to deal with the abusers later, when they appear in court for different violent issues.

Author's Note: I have intentionally omitted advertisement from this article due to the serious nature of its content.


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    • Winter Maclen profile image

      Chris 5 years ago from Illinois

      KVargas - That's a great question. We recently got a new sheriff in Cook County, the area that surrounds Chicago, and he does seem to truly care. But without You Tube, who knows what really would have been done.

    • kvargas816 profile image

      kvargas816 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Winter, yeah that is kind of scary to know that someone didnt see what "the big deal was". How could you not? My question is, if it wasnt posted on YouTube, would they have gotten arrested anyways and the dogs seized?

    • Winter Maclen profile image

      Chris 5 years ago from Illinois

      The good news is that earlier this week in Chicago, police arrested a 22 year old and 15 year old who abused small dogs and placed videos on U-Tube. The videos are mean, but not permanently damaging to the dogs. The anti-cruelty society seized the dogs, and the two were arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty. Both had $50,000 bonds. So folks did recognize the seriousness of the crime. The terrifying part is that the 22 year old didn't see what "the big deal was about."

    • kvargas816 profile image

      kvargas816 5 years ago from New York, NY

      unfortunately, people dont think abusing dogs is serious enough to out them in jail as they would for mistreating or killing a human. Sucks but things are getting a little better for them as more people are standing up for our friends on four legs. With all those poor dogs she mistreated who is to say that she wont do it to an elderly patient? Just because they walk on two legs instead of four, it makes it different?

    • Winter Maclen profile image

      Chris 5 years ago from Illinois

      Jaye - I completely agree. Unfortunately, in Illinois you can work as a caregiver mainly if you haven't had any other contact in the system. They consider child abuse and elder abuse, but not animal abuse. I would have thought the conviction would have counted, but obviously not.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 5 years ago from new jersey

      Great hub. But horrible situation. How can anyone be so insensitive? These people need to be in jail.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      This situation once again proves the so-called Justice System in the U.S. is broken! Too many states do not have adequate (or any) criminal punishment for people who torture animals. And the judge in this case proves that there are people sitting on the bench who don't belong there!

      This horrible woman (although I think of her as a monster rather than a human) should not be allowed to go free after her acts of cruelty, much less be allowed to work as an elder caregiver. She isn't capable of caregiving. How in the world did she obtain a license to do that type of work? What will the judge who allowed her to return to that job do when the elderly people she's supposed to be taking care of die from neglect or abuse? Crazy!

      Winter, this is a heart-breaking, but very important hub. Voted UP and USEFUL.

    • Winter Maclen profile image

      Chris 5 years ago from Illinois

      I agree. This is such a travesty. I work with the at risk population professionally, and dogs for pleasure and this combination is just sickening.

    • Zoya Jabbar profile image

      Sajal Jabbar 5 years ago

      Excellent hub.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      This is a brilliant hub; thank you for making me aware of this. What a vile woman, she deserves to rot in jail for the rest of her life. I agree with the two previous comments, I hope the authorities keep a close eye on her, I wouldn't trust her around two vulnerable elderly people.

    • Dog Advisor profile image

      Sarah Falkner 5 years ago from Dog Advice

      I am shocked and disgusted that this woman is not in jail. Thank you for this hub. Anyone who can treat animals in such a way should not be allowed to be a care giver. I agree with sgbrown, I really hope someone else is keeping track of the person she is caring for.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is an excellent hub! I can not believe that the courts would allow this woman to continue to work with elderly dimentia patients. What the he-- are they thinking! If she cares so little about animals and has so little compassion, how can she really care about these elderly people that depend on her for their health and safety. OMGosh! I hope someone is keeping an eye on this woman and the person she is supposed to be taking care of. Wonderful hub! Voted up and interesting. This should really go in the local paper! You are a good person for bringing this to the attention of others.