How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in NY State – A Manual of Procedures

Example 6 – Neglected Pets: Starving Animals in Apartment

The Complaint

A complainant called the local humane society and reported that her mother and brother had too many animals and were not taking care of them properly. The daughter signed a sworn statement.

The Response

  1. The investigator went to the residence and knocked on the door. No one answered. He heard several dogs barking at the time.
  2. The investigator left a “Notice to Comply” requesting the owner to call. The owner did not respond.
  3. The investigator returned the next day, knocked again and no one answered. He left another “Notice to Comply” requesting the owner to call.
  4. On the following day, because he had not heard from the animals’ owner, the investigator applied for a search warrant to enter the property.
  5. A police officer and the investigator went to the property to execute the warrant. As they knocked on the door, it opened ajar. Inside they saw a great number of cats and 4 dogs. Most of the cats were emaciated and suffering from upper respiratory disease. Several dead kittens were observed in the residence.
  6. The investigator took photographs of the animals and the surroundings.
  7. The investigator called the humane society and county animal control for assistance. 65 cats and 4 dogs were taken to the shelter.
  8. The police officer and investigator secured the residence before leaving.
  9. Upon further investigation, the investigator discovered that the woman who owned the animals was in the hospital; he went to the court clerk and had a criminal summons mailed to her house. He later found the son in a bar and gave him an appearance ticket.

Charges Brought

The individuals involved were charged with 69 counts of violating Article 26 Section 353 of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.

Supporting Documents Follow