Those who harm animals often are more likely to harm people, according to a news release from the Casper Police Department.

“We feel that it is important for us to alert our community of this alarming link so that they can be aware of what and who they bring into their lives,” Chief Keith McPheeters said.

"This is a heavily researched, verified and disturbing correlation," McPheeters said. "When we see signs of it in our community, it’s our responsibility as a police department to inform our community.”

For example, a study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Northeastern University found animal abusers are five times as likely to also commit violence against humans.

The department said it has no tolerance for those who are violent towards animals, and it takes these criminal acts extremely seriously and recommend charges accordingly.

On Friday, police arrested Christopher Reed, 22, and charged him with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty after killing a pet guinea pig and cutting the throat of a pet dog during a fight with another adult the night before.

No people were injured, but the dog was taken to a local veterinary hospital for lifesaving treatment. The dog is recovering from its injuries.

Reed heard the charges against him during his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday.

If you know someone who has shown signs of abusing animals, help them seek mental health resources.

Likewise, contact Casper police animal protection officers to respond to any instances of animal cruelty.