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

Example 8 – Neglected Large Animals: Starving Horses Running Loose

The Complaint

A complainant called the State Police and reported that 5 horses belonging to a neighbor were running loose near the complainant’s property. They appeared very thin and were trying to eat tree branches.

The Response

  1. An officer went to the owner’s house, interviewed him, and examined the horses. They were very thin with ribs visible under the skin. Virtually no food was available.
  2. The officer interviewed the neighbor who stated that she was an experienced horse person and had been invited by the owner to stop by and see the horses. On the day she did, the owner was not home, but she saw that the horses were starving and living in deplorable conditions. She signed a sworn statement to that effect.
  3. Based on his own observations and the signed statement of the neighbor, the officer applied for a search warrant to seize the horses. In addition, the officer did the following:
    1. Contacted the local humane agency to be present when the warrant was executed to remove and board the animals.
    2. Contacted a veterinarian to be present to examine the horses and provide a sworn statement as to their condition.
  4. The officer entered the property to execute the warrant, along with the humane agency and the veterinarian.
  5. The team photographed the animals and their surroundings, and removed the animals to the local shelter.

Charges Brought

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

Supporting Documents Follow