Monday, June 9, 2014

Claudia Swing's passion: prevention of cruelty to animals

Claudia Swing, chief of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Administration, sits at a busy desk in her office in San Bernardino.
Her job is preparing a $70 million budget for the district attorney’s operations, guiding numerous grants through the bureaucracy, serving almost 500 employees and their payroll needs, and riding herd on the district attorney’s offices in Morongo, Barstow, Redlands, Big Bear, Twin Peaks and San Bernardino, and dealing with the County Board of Supervisors to fulfill the needs of the district attorney’s offices.
That’s her job.
But her passion is the prevention of cruelty to animals, especially roosters that are bred and equipped to fight to the death in what she calls a national and international problem.

“Where you find cockfighting, you will usually find drugs, weapons, prostitution and other violations,” says Claudia Swing of Highland.

But the real worry is the effect it has on children, who often accompany their fathers and/or mothers to the events.

“They can become desensitized to violence and cruelty,” Swing says. “Also, where you see cruelty to animals, you will often see cruelty to family members.”

She says interviews with children will often reveal comments like, “Daddy kicks the dog,” which leads to information about the father’s abuse of children and wives, as well.

That link between animal cruelty and human cruelty is a major item of interest to the Task Force that meets monthly to discuss cruelty and ways to prevent and stop it.

Law enforcement volunteers from San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties get together to compare notes and discuss progress, usually with a special speaker in some specialty dealing with the subject of animal abuse and neglect.

The task force hopes to educate law enforcement officers to this link, and the possibility that one crime can lead to more serious charges.

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