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

Example 5 – Neglected Pets: Multiple Animals

The Complaint

A complainant called the State Police and reported that several animals (dogs and cats) were not being fed, watered or taken care of properly at a residence. The owner had moved away several months before and left the animals behind and periodically returned to the property. Since he moved, the condition of the property and animals had deteriorated and animals were dying. It was winter weather.

The Response

  1. Two officers investigated and corroborated the statements of the complainant.
  2. Based on the complaint and their own knowledge, they obtained a search warrant to enter the premises.
  3. In addition, the officers did the following:
    1. Contacted the local dog control and humane agency to be present when the warrant was executed to remove and hold the animals.
    2. Contacted a veterinarian to be present to examine the animals and provide a sworn statement as to their condition.
  4. On the day the warrant was executed, the team entered the property, removed the animals, and took them to the local shelter. (A dead animal was also seized for evidence.)
  5. The officers took photographs of the animals and their surroundings at the scene. They obtained signed statements from the veterinarian as to the state of each animal.
  6. The officers then obtained an arrest warrant for the owner.

Charges Brought

The individual involved was arrested and charged with 6 counts of violating Article 26 Section 353 of the Agriculture & Markets Law.

Supporting Documents Follow