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

Example 1 – Neglected Pets: Lack of Shelter

The Complaint

A complainant called a local humane agency during the summer and reported that a neighbor’s dog was outside constantly regardless of the weather. It had no shelter and was chained to a stake. The caller was afraid to sign a complaint.

The caller informed the investigator that another neighbor had called the dog control officer because of the dog’s barking at night.

The Response

  1. The investigator observed the dog in plain view from the complainant’s yard and verified that the animal had no shelter.
  2. The investigator then went to the residence and spoke to the owner’s wife about the complaint and asked to see the dog. With the exception of the lack of shelter, the dog appeared to be in good health, although wildacting because of being constantly tethered.
  3. The investigator advised the woman about the negatives of keeping a dog outside constantly, but said that if the dog was going to be kept outside, it needed a proper dog house. He stated that he would return in a week to ensure that it had been obtained. He also told her to move the dog to a shadier area, and she did.
  4. Within a week, the investigator returned. A dog house stood in the front yard, but it had not been moved to the backyard for the dog. The investigator told the woman that the dog house had to be in the backyard for use by the dog by the next day (with the entry way facing south); the investigator then asked to see the dog; the woman refused. The investigator said he would return the next day.
  5. The investigator then viewed the dog from the complainant’s lot and determined that the dog was in the shade and appeared to be in good condition, but still in need of a dog house.
  6. When the investigator returned the next day, the husband was at home and stated that the dog house had been placed out back. The investigator accompanied the husband out back to ensure the dog house was in place and the dog had water available and was satisfied that the cause of the complaint had been corrected.

Charges Brought
None, because the individuals involved had cooperated.

Supporting Documents Follow