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Chris Brosan, manager of strategic campaigns and special projects for the Humane Society of the United States, outlines tips on investigating animal cruelty to area law enforcement officials during a training session held Tuesday at Great Plains Technology Center.

Humane Society helps train police

Local law enforcement learned more about investigating animal abuse cases Tuesday from the Humane Society of the United States.

Topics covered in Tuesday's session at Great Plains Technology Center included a background on puppy mills, dog fighting, cockfighting and other forms of illegal animal abuse. Also discussed were the association of dog fighting and cockfighting with other felony crimes; processes of investigating an animal cruelty or fighting complaint; recognizing evidence of puppy mills and various animal abuse offenses; interviews, warrants and evidence collection related to animal crimes; and knowing, interpreting and applying cruelty and fighting laws.

"We're training law enforcement officers about how to investigate animal cruelty crimes," said Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States. "We hope they will have a better understanding about the issues and resources available to them to proceed with investigations."

Armstrong said another purpose of the training session was to help law enforcement officials better understand the link between animal cruelty and human physical and domestic abuse. "People who perpetrate violence against animals are likely to commit human violence," she said.

Armstrong said the FBI through the years has linked many violent criminals, from serial rapists and killers to school shooters, that have begun their criminal "careers" by harming animals.

Numerous areaagencies represented

Many police and sheriff's departments and other law enforcement agencies from throughout Southwest Oklahoma participated in Tuesday's session. They included the Lawton Police Department, Comanche County Sheriff's Office, Comanche Nation Police and other Comanche County police departments in Sterling, Elgin, Cache, Geronimo and Chattanooga.

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