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

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Appendix III

Resource Agencies

The following agencies may be of interest to you during the course of investigating animal cruelty complaints. Some agencies can provide you with information and possibly assist in your cruelty investigation. Based on the nature of the complaint, some agencies can bring their own charges against the abuser. In the case of the American Kennel Clubs, it can remove a breeder’s accreditation.

American Humane
American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals.
Contact:, or (800) 227-4645

American Kennel Club
Investigations and Inspections Unit
Contact: (919) 233-9767
Inform the AKC about animal cruelty cases that involve dog breeders selling AKC registered dogs. The AKC can remove the breeder’s registration privileges.

American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
Offers a full menu of support to law enforcement and prosecutors handling animal cruelty and animal fighting investigations and prosecutions, including legal, investigative, forensic, and other assistance. ASPCA subject matter experts also provide training to agencies looking to build on their knowledge and skills with these cases.
Contact: (212) 876-7700, or for Legal Advocacy and Investigations:

Animal Legal Defense Fund
Expertise in prosecution of animal-related crime
Contact: (707) 795-2355, or

County Health Departments
Contact your local county health department for assistance in animal cruelty cases that involve problems that may endanger human health, such as vermin, ground water pollution, and suspected rabies.

Humane Society of the United States
Contact: (202) 452-1100
Can provide expert information on animal behavior and animal cruelty which can be used in cruelty investigations. Call and ask to be directed to the person that has expertise in the desired area.

NYS Department of Agriculture – Animal Industry
Responsible for interpreting laws regarding animal cruelty, dog control, dog licensing; also conducts inspections of animal shelters if shelter is contracted with municipality for dog control.
Contact: (518) 485-1417

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Contact the regional office listed in your local telephone book or in a goggle search for animal cruelty cases involving wildlife. Also contact them in cases involving air pollution. See “Environmental Conservation Law, New York Code of Rules and Regulations, Chapter III, Air Resources” in the “Various NYS State Laws Dealing with Animals” section.

United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Contact the USDA when you have a cruelty case involving animal breeders, animal dealers, etc. Such enterprises must be licensed by the USDA and operated according to the standards established by the Animal Welfare Act.
Document your case and present them with your findings at See “USDA Law and Animal Cruelty” in the “Various NYS Laws Dealing with Animals” section.
For further information, contact the Center for Animal Welfare (CAW) Office.

Mailing Address:

USDA-APHIS Center for Animal Welfare
2312 East Bannister Road, RM 1180
Kansas City, MO 64131-3011

Physical Address:

USDA-APHIS Center for Animal Welfare
6501 Beacon Drive
Kansas City, MO 64133
(816) 737-4200