Call it one (pretty big) step for man, one giant leap for animalkind: This month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will start recording cases of animal cruelty and storing them in a database.
WDTN reports that previously, "animal abuse fell under an 'other' category lumped together with other less serious crimes," but with this change, incidences of animal cruelty will be entered into a national database, where they'll be segmented into four separate categories: animal neglect, torture, organized abuse and animal sex abuse.
Recently, Tennessee became the first state to create a public registry of animal abusers, in which the names of abusers are stored and viewable to anyone online. This latest step from the FBI will build on this by inputting data from cities and states around the country.
Maintaining a national database such as this one could lead to states enforcing stricter punishments for animal abusers, in addition to aiding in the prevention of future crimes against animals.
"If someone is going to beat a dog and torture a dog, they're not that far from doing that to a human," Marcia Doncaster, a dog warden in Miami County, Ohio, told WDTN.