If a pediatrician suspects their patient is a victim of abuse, that doctor is required by law to report it to the necessary officials.
The laws may differ slightly, but whether in Texas or North Dakota, Washington or New York, doctors and others that work with children under the age of 18 must let officials know.
The so-called "mandatory reporter" provision was created as a way to spot victims and stop abuse before it's too late. "Mandatory reporters are part of the safety net that protects children and youth, and they have the ability to provide lifesaving help to child victims in our community."
These laws allow professionals to be the voice for a child when the child may not be able to speak for itself. However, there are others victims of abuse that have even less ability to ask for help — pets. While most of us would never dream of abusing an animal or child, violence against both is rampant throughout the United States. Unfortunately, in many states, veterinarians aren't required to report abuses. This is shocking, especially when you consider the fact that animal abuse is often a precursor to serious violence against people.
Surprisingly, despite being recommended by the American Veterinary
Medical Association, there are currently only 18 states that require veterinarians to report abuses.
Another 20 states recommend it but reporting isn't mandated by law.
The following states do not require vets to report animal abuse: AK | AR | CT | DE | DC | FL | GA | HI | ID | IN | IA | KY | LA | MI | MS | MT | NV | NJ | NH | NM | NY | NC | OH | PA | PR | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | WA | WY
This is unacceptable. In recent years we have learned so much about the mind of abusers, and people who commit violent crimes. Specifically, that animal abuse is often a telltale sign of other violence to come. The Son of Sam serial killer, Nikolas Cruz the Parkland shooter and Devin Patrick Kelley who killed 27 people at Sutherland Springs, all had a history of animal abuse before they went on to target people.
We know the signs are there, but if we are ever to have a chance of stopping them, we must oblige our vets to report the abuse they see. Please help make life safer for animals and people. Sign the petition and demand that every state pass a mandatory reporter law for vets.
And if your state is included in the list above, write your representative and tell them you want them to sponsor a mandatory reporter law.