Abused dogs and cats now have a (human) voice in Connecticut courts

The advocates view their role as reinforcing prosecutors who are overburdened with cases or may consider crimes against animals to be less of a priority. Sometimes, like in Manchester, the advocates argue in court, but much of an advocate’s attention is directed at investigative efforts, like reviewing police and medical records and interviewing animal control officers and veterinarians to bolster a case.

Supporters say that many of these crimes go unprosecuted or result in punishments they contend are too lenient, such as rehabilitation programs that can end with charges being expunged. According to state crime data, of the more than 3,500 animal abuse cases reported in the decade ending in 2015, 47 percent were not prosecuted, another 33 percent were dismissed and 18 percent ended in guilty verdicts.