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January 11, 2016

FBI now places animal abuse in same category as serious crimes like homicide

Data collected this year will be released to the public in 2017

Pets Animal Abuse
Animal Cruelty Lilo's Promise Animal Rescue Inc./for PhillyVoice

An emaciated dog found in Philadelphia’s Tacony Creek Park.

As of Jan. 1 the Federal Bureau of Investigations began tracking animal abuse cases the same as serious crimes like homicides and arsons, the Washington Post reports.

Previously, animal abuse charges – defined as “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment,” – were recorded by local police agencies under “other,” leaving no concrete way to track these crimes.

Under the new guidelines, law enforcement tracks animal cruelty cases in one of four crime categories: simple or gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse and animal sexual abuse.

The Post said the FBI is expected to share its data on animal abuse with the public in 2017.

Read the full Washington Post article here.