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

Example 7 – Neglected Large Animals: Starving Horses

The Complaint

A complainant called the local humane agency and reported that numerous horses on the property of a resident were not being fed and appeared to be starving.

The humane agency had been to the same property in the recent past to investigate a complaint that the horses were not being fed. The owners had been told to worm the horses and increase their feed. The owner had agreed to cooperate at that time.

The Response

  1. Based on an interview of the complainant and the past knowledge of the cruelty investigator, the humane agency applied for a search warrant and contacted the sheriff’s department. A local veterinarian was contacted to be present when the warrant was executed.
  2. The sheriff’s department entered the property to execute the warrant, along with the humane society and the veterinarian.
  3. They found emaciated horses as well as two dead horses and a dead foal. There was no food or water available.
  4. The humane agency and sheriff’s deputies took photographs of the animals and their surroundings.
  5. The emaciated horses were seized and taken to the animal shelter.
  6. The veterinarian examined the animals and provided a signed statement as to their condition.
  7. The owner was ordered to bury the dead horses based on Section 377 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

Charges Brought

The individual involved was charged with 5 counts of violating Article 26 Section 353 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

Supporting Documents Follow