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See pet abuse? Chances are someone else in family is suffering too

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A shocking new public service announcement being released in Milwaukee sheds light on the abuse of pets -- and the link to other domestic violence. The PSA is a collaborative effort aimed at reducing the growing percentage of domestic violence, by encouraging more residents to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse.

"Abusers don`t often stop with their primary victim, they hurt anybody that they can in the home. I know officers have seen this evidence when they respond to 911 calls," said Executive Director of Sojourner Family Peace Center Carmen Pitre.

This effort is based on research from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys that found 76 percent of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. The premise is that if more people can be convinced to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse (an act generally considered to be easier than reporting domestic abuse), that the police will then have the opportunity to uncover a higher number of domestic violence cases.

"It`s meant to make people uncomfortable, it`s meant to move them emotionally to get them to think about this cause and internalize it and act," said Serve Marketing Founder Gary Mueller.

According to the project's website, SpotAbuse.org, "domestic violence increased 48 percent in Milwaukee in 2012. Combine that with the fact that an estimated 70 percent of all abuse cases go unreported each year (National Coalition of Domestic Abuse), and 25-40% of domestic abuse victims stay in abusive homes or delay leaving out of concern for the safety of their pets (American Humane Society), and it's obvious that a new approach to breaking the cycle of abuse is desperately needed."

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin Humane Society, Sojourner Family Peace Center, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) and Serve Marketing launched the new campaign on Thursday, May 1st.

Learn more about Spot Abuse via Facebook by CLICKING HERE.