They’re always there for us, so we should be there for them.
That was the underlying message in Kings County top prosecutor Charles Hynes’s recent visit to Williamsburg where he honored the efforts of the Brooklyn Animal Resources Coalition (BARC), who was honored for its care and treatment of abused and neglected animals.
BARC, located on Wythe Avenue, was one of three organizations Hynes patted on the head for not only treating wounded, sick and malnourished animals, but also for providing his office with crucial evidence used to cage animal abusers, he said.
Other groups honored included the Sean Casey Animal Rescue on East 3rd Street in Kensington and the staff of the Brooklyn Animal Care and Control, located in East New York.
Joining Hynes in extending the accolades −− which coincided with Animal Abuse Awareness month −− was Tony Award−winning actress and singer Bernadette Peters, a longtime supporter of BARC. Peters recently penned a children’s book about her love of dogs called “Broadway Bark.”
“The protection of animals has always been very close to my heart,” said Hynes, a self−professed animal lover. “I find it incomprehensible why people would hurt animals. Animal cruelty is a crime and those who commit this crime are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Hynes said that his office indicts anywhere from eight to a dozen animal cruelty cases a year. These cases have included the prosecution of a man who had beaten a cat to death and the arrest of a bogus veterinarian who injured animals during so−called “surgeries.” Hynes’s office has also prosecuted cock−fighting and dog−fighting cases in which animals are trained to kill each other for sport.
The three animal rescue groups honored Tuesday not only treat these physically− and mentally−scarred animals, but they also spay and neuter them and try to find them good homes, Hynes said, adding that these shelters take care of more than just dogs and cats.
The groups help a variety of animals, including rabbits, snakes and even alligators, Hynes said.
While animal cruelty is deplorable in its own right, Hynes said that these cases are often warnings of a larger, more human problem −− domestic violence.
“Often, committing the crime of animal cruelty is a warning sign of other problems including domestic violence,” he explained.
According to a Hynes spokesperson, at least half of the animal cruelty cases they investigate are linked to domestic violence.