Brute Force: Policing Animal Cruelty by Arnold Arluke

By Arnold Arluke

Evaluate: Brute Force

This is an insightful, analytically astute, balanced, and well timed ethnographic research of humane legislation enforcement officials (the "animal police"). Suspended, as they're, among cops and animal keep watch over staff, humane officials search to protect the health and wellbeing and welfare of animals in a society the place animal-human relationships have gotten ever extra ubiquitous and ever extra finely textured.

Although this isn't a "shock book," I nonetheless stumbled on it disconcerting to learn. One may imagine (as I did sooner than analyzing this booklet) that if an individual has taken at the accountability of possessing a domesticated/farm animal or puppy, that easy utilitarian explanations may circulation that exact to at the very least minimally supply for that animal[s]. This, unfortunately, isn't regularly the case. I additionally discovered that criminal constructs equivalent to "abuse" and "cruelty" are usually not transparent cut--whether that be within the box or within the courtroom.

Arluke constructs this considerate exam round a number of issues and ideas, together with the emotional socialization of humane officials as they circulation from the idealism of newly graduated beginners to the extra nuanced standpoint of senior officials. views towards the which means of labor can range as Arluke came across occupational groupings within the humane officials he studied: (1) the "police-oriented officer" and the (2) "animal-inclined officers." As mirrored of their labels, the police-oriented officials pointed out extra with the police and legislation enforcements elements in their paintings whereas the animal-inclined officials have been usually more youthful, prone to be girl, and extra usually pointed out themselves as "animal humans" and puppy owners.

I was once such a lot inspired with the paintings of humane officials as Arluke specific the lengths to which those public servants may mediate with animal vendors, the complainant and/or acquaintances on behalf of animals. officials acquired dog food for bad proprietors, developed shelters for trapped within the point animals. and went out in their strategy to defuse what can simply be super risky events (e.g., Humane Officer: "A criticism approximately animal abuse/neglect/cruelty has been made opposed to you...." Animal proprietor: "What stinking jerk stated that? i would like to grasp who that is--and now."

Most problematic used to be the indifference displayed via courtroom officers, (e.g., clerks, district legal professionals and judges) while humane officials felt it used to be essential to dossier felony charges--usually purely as a final inn through humane officials who're fairly conscious of their low stature and legitimacy at the court. it really is discouraging to imagine how tough it really is to turn out abuse or cruelty and the way usually the animal actually has to die or be unarguably maimed sooner than justice might be served.

This is a good written and simply digested ebook, with whatever for animal enthusiasts (even animal tolerators), and for social scientists attracted to knowing the character and significance of human-animal relationships.

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Additional info for Brute Force: Policing Animal Cruelty

Sample text

Well there’s no law against that, if it keeps him healthy, which eventually it won’t, but . . so when I came back, he told me that, and I just shook my head. I went over there and put the guy through the ringer and the guy gave me the dog. Its primary diet was raw chicken and orange juice. So that right there indicates a health problem, okay. The dog had never seen a veterinarian, it was way underweight, and the shelter was not adequate. But Officer Artie didn’t find the same violations that we would.

This attitude was evident in the words of one officer who claimed that the animals “all become mine. They’re all mine. Even if I haven’t seen it, it’s still mine. I don’t care if the owner is sitting there, that’s my dog, you know. It’s always been like that. ” A fellow officer had a similar sentiment: “That’s what bothers me, that I can’t make them look at their dog the way I look at my dog and my cat that are side by side on my bed when I leave in the morning and have a bowl of water. Every time I give them a bowl of water, it just blows my mind that there are dogs that are begging for water.

Failing to live up to one of these orientations made some officers feel as though they were neither “regular” police nor “advocates” for animals. Yet, such problems were a small price to pay for the organizational value of having two orientations. This division made it possible for individual officers to take on occupational identities appropriate for them, while connecting the department in the public’s eye both to police and animal work. Distancing Humane officers also dealt with their precarious occupational identity by distancing themselves from animal control.

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