- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - The Fresno County district attorney has established a new Animal Cruelty Unit that will pursue crimes against animals in hopes of stemming later crimes against humans.

The Fresno Bee reports (https://bit.ly/1O3vlYA ) that the unit earned its first conviction Monday when 32-year-old Tyrell Leon Harris pleaded no contest to fracturing the skull of his dog Princess.

According to the United States Human Society, between 71 percent and 83 percent of women in domestic violence shelters report that their partners have abused or killed the family pet. In families under supervision for child abuse, 88 percent had also committed acts of animal abuse.

The unit works with law enforcement, including officers with the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp formed the unit in July.



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Information from: The Fresno Bee, https://www.fresnobee.com

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