Research has found that
nearly half of law enforcement officers encounter animal cruelty at
least several times a year, nearly a quarter of them on a monthly basis
By Stacy Wolf, ASPCA Senior Vice President
Animal cruelty is a crime against animals, but also a crime that offends our most basic community values.
scale of this cruelty can be shocking, as seen in 2016 when the ASPCA
assisted the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Hoke
County Sheriff’s Office in a cruelty case involving nearly 700 animals
living in deplorable conditions at an unlicensed, self-described animal
rescue facility. It was the largest companion animal cruelty case in ASPCA history.
Animal cruelty doesn’t just hurt animals. Research shows that some
forms of animal cruelty are indicators of potential future violent acts
against people. But effectively investigating and prosecuting animal
cruelty cases presents unique challenges to law enforcement, prosecutors
and animal welfare agencies alike.
goal of this work is to save animals in jeopardy today, while helping
law enforcement agencies build their own capacity to handle such cases
independently in the future.
Training courses provide information on animal cruelty
research has found that nearly half of law enforcement officers
encounter animal cruelty at least several times a year, nearly a quarter
of them on a monthly basis.
Almost half of officers say more training is needed on how to investigate animal cruelty cases.
from law enforcement agencies demonstrates a keen interest in receiving
additional training to help officers identify animal cruelty and
conduct effective investigations that result in successful prosecution.
response to these findings, the ASPCA has increased efforts to offer
training courses to law enforcement and animal control officers on
various animal cruelty topics and trained nearly 2,000 law enforcement
officers across the country last year to effectively assist victims of
cruelty and neglect.
These trainings provide crucial tools that empower law enforcement to identify, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty.
Current training opportunities
September, the ASPCA is collaborating with the New York State
Department of Criminal Justice Services, the New York State Office of
Public Safety and the Mohawk Valley Police Academy to offer a statewide
animal cruelty investigations training.
During the two-day course,
attendees will learn about New York State animal cruelty laws, evidence
collection, the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence,
animal fighting, and investigating equine and large-scale cruelty cases.
ASPCA animal welfare experts spanning specialties in veterinary
forensic sciences, investigations, criminal law and animal behavior will
offer training, which will be held September 11 and 12 at Mohawk Valley
Community College in Oneida County.