Animal Cruelty Law in New York State


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  • Applies to ANY Animal – whether wild or tame. Overloading can apply to pit bulls carrying heavy weights for conditioning. This is the section used most often.
  • You will see more cases of neglect than anything else.
  • You will need assistance when dealing with these people – contact shelters, kennels, before obtaining SW.
  • They will live in filth. They refuse to give up any animal. They will sometimes keep dead animals.
  • One count of cruelty for each animal – unless there are hundreds – then discuss with ADA.
  • Whenever you have a situation like this – refer to section 373-2 – Police may take possession of animals which for more than 12 hours have been confined in unhealthful or unsanitary conditions. Ref. to SW example
  • Busters law applies to companion animals such as dogs or cats. Also refer to sections 360 & 361 which are also Felony crimes
  • Note dead rabbit for food – dirty water.
  • If you see dogs being fought on the streets – call for ACO to assist you.
  • Often leads to illegal drug and weapons possession. Done for illegal gambling purposes.
  • Pit bulls are kept on heavy chains to strengthen their neck muscles for fighting. If you see a “yard” of pit bulls, chances are they are being fought or bred to fight. Dogs are sold for as much as $10,000. They have Champion fighting bloodlines such as “Chinaman”.
  • Also includes dumping a cat or dog on the street. If the animal becomes injured, also charge with 353a or b – if companion animal.
  • Refer to Search Warrants. Contact local vets, Animal Control, Kennel owners, Ag. & Mkts for assistance.
  • Spray paint numbers on large animals – Attach collars with numbers on smaller animals.
  • Refer to Vet forms and Informations (Include the conditions of animal in Information)
  • Refer to Sample “Court Order”
  • Animal Cruelty Law in New York State

    1. 1. Animal Cruelty Investigation New York State Article 26
    2. 2. Why bother investigating.. Indicator of violence  According to the FBI, the triad of: 1) being abused as a child, 2) reacting by torturing animals, and 3) becoming violent to humans is so well established, that animal cruelty is used as a means of identifying possible suspects in violent crimes and as an indicator of possible future offenders
    3. 3. ANEPIDEMIC
    4. 4. In The Past 5 Years:175 Deaths Have Taken Place in School10,000 Murders Have Been Committed By Serial Killers800,000 Children Abused With Serious Injury; 10,000 Killed20,000 Children Have Committed Murder25,000 Children Have Committed Suicide 115,000 Homicides 3 Million Child Abuse, Neglect, or Abandonment 5 Million Assaults Against Elders 15 Million Assaults Against Women 30 Million Violent Crimes Overall
    5. 5. The Yearly Cost Of CrimeDirect Monetary Losses - $ 50 BillionIndirect Monetary Losses - $ 280 BillionAdjudication Costs - $ 30 - 50 BillionTotal Costs To Society of Violent Crime: $400 - 450 BillionSource: National Research Council, Nat. Academy Of Sciences
    6. 6. Juvenile violenceEvery year 4000 kids under 18 commit murder Virtually all of them were abused and began abusing animals by the time they reached their teens.
    7. 7. Luke Woodham 16 – 1997 killed his mother and 3 classmates in Pearl Mississippi
    8. 8. Kip Kinkle 15 – killed his parents and 2 classmates wounding 22 more in Oregon
    9. 9. Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold killed 13 and wounded 20 in Littleton, Colorado.
    10. 10.  All of them were known to torture animals Nobody did anything about it.
    11. 11. Serial Killers The FBI estimates there are 500 serial killers operating in the U.S. at any one time. All known serial killers tortured animals.
    12. 12. Jeffrey Dahmer killed 17 young men, started torturing animals at age 10.
    13. 13. Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler) strangled and killed 13 women,trapped dogs in orange crates and shot arrows through them.
    14. 14. Edmund Kemper mutilated cats putting their heads on poles as “trophies”. Convicted in 1973 of 8 counts of murder including his mother
    15. 15. Brenda Spencer set cats and dogs on fire.In 1979, shot 9 people in an elementary school, killing two.
    16. 16. Other violent crimes 88% of child abuse and 70-80% ofspouse abuse also includes animal cruelty.
    17. 17. So why bother?1. We’re talking about both felony and misdemeanor crimes.2. Could lead to discovery of OTHER criminal activity3. Concern for:
    18. 18. Why must police bother? NYS Agriculture & Markets Law Article 26 Section 371 States: “A Constable or Police Officer MUST , and any agent or officer of any duly incorporated SPCA MAY issue an appearance ticket, summon or arrest …..any person offending against any of the provisions of Article 26.
    19. 19. So let’s get some definitions straight. First of all, New York State’sanimal cruelty law is located in the Agriculture and Markets Law, Article 26.
    20. 20. Article 26Section 350 of the New York State Agriculture & Market Lawstates: An animal is every living creature except a human being.
    21. 21. Section 350–2 “ Torture or Cruelty” Every ACT – Unjustifiable killing, beating, burning, hanging, shooting, etc. Omission Neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted .
    22. 22. Felony andMisdemeanor Cruelty
    23. 23. Misdemeanor - Section 3531. § 353. Overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance. A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to himself or to another, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, or neglects or refuses to furnish it such sustenance or drink, or causes, procures or permits any animal to be overdriven, overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjustifiably injured, maimed, mutilated or killed, or to be deprived of necessary food or drink, or who wilfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
    24. 24. Unjustifiably injuring a wild animal – beak tied shut, nails impaled thru eyes
    25. 25. Failure to provide proper sustenance
    26. 26. Any omission or neglectLeaving dogs in HOT CARSOvergrown hooves on horses –resulting in sufferingCollars embedded into dogsnecksLack of vet care resulting insuffering (a disease or injury nottreated)
    27. 27. Neglected hooves
    28. 28. Be on the lookout forsituations that lead to neglect: Animal hoarders Puppy mills
    29. 29. Animal Hoarders Definition – A person who amasses more animals than he/she can properly care for . Individuals generally fail to recognize, or refuse to acknowledge when the animals in their custody become victims of gross neglect.
    30. 30. Animal Hoarders
    31. 31. Animal Hoarder
    32. 32. Animal Hoarder residence
    33. 33. Fire Hazard
    34. 34. Cockroach infestation
    35. 35. Unsanitary conditions
    36. 36. Puppy MillsSeveral breeds of dogs may be found in overcrowded – unhealthy conditions.Dogs are usually kept in cages or on chains for their entire lifetime.
    37. 37. This puppy mill warehoused Coonhounds and German Shepherds
    38. 38. Puppy mill victim
    39. 39. Section 353a “Buster’s Law” – Aggravated Cruelty  Felony § 353-a. Aggravated cruelty to animals. 1. A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty. For purposes of this section, "aggravated cruelty" shall mean conduct which: (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.
    40. 40. Cat sacrificed and hung
    41. 41. Dog slowly starved - tail cut off with butcher knife
    42. 42. For examples of what is going on out thereSee
    43. 43. Section 353b Dog Shelter Law Violations indicated by a combination of:  Shelter itself, including waste  Weather Conditions  Physical condition or breed of the dog
    44. 44. Section 353b Beginning 72 hours after a charge of violating this section, each day a defendant fails to correct deficiencies inthe dog shelter shall constitute a separate offense.
    45. 45. Inadequate Shelter
    46. 46. § 353-c. Electrocution of fur-bearing animals prohibited.1.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no personshall intentionally kill, or stun to facilitate the killing of, afur-bearing animal by means of an electrical current.2.2. A violation of subdivision one of this section is a class Amisdemeanor.
    47. 47. § 353-d. Confinement of companionanimals in vehicles: extreme temperatures.1. A person shall not confine a companion animal in amotor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without properventilation or other protection from such extremetemperatures where such confinement places thecompanion animal in imminent danger of death orserious physical injury due to exposure to such extreme
    48. 48. Animal Fighting - 351
    49. 49. Dog Fighting May require undercover operations Often discovered through underground fighting magazines, drug informants, the Internet Called in by neighbor for barking dogs
    50. 50. Dogfighting In the U.S., fighting dogs are almost exclusively pit bulls. They are usually kept in “yards” on very heavy chains to strengthen neck muscles for fighting.
    51. 51. Spring-poles Breaking sticks Bottles of vitamins & steroids Medication vials, syringes Saline solution in plastic bags used to re-hydrate dog’s bodies after activityTreadmills
    52. 52. Dog Fighting Paraphernalia
    53. 53. Dog Fighting - Conditions of the dogs  Missing body parts  Ears, eyes  Recent and old bite marks,  Ears often chopped off
    54. 54. Dog Fighting - Street Fighting Occurs in playgrounds, streets, alleys Owners will state the fight was an accident. In addition to pit bulls, other dogs are used.
    55. 55. Another epidemic: Cockfighting
    56. 56.  Kept in single cages, stacked in double andCockfighting triple layers OR outside tethered to barrels.  Combs and wattles (red growths on head and under chin) cut off  Bodies may be shaved. This is done to keep them cooler while fighting; it is also done to determine the winner ­ the loser has more wounds on his body.
    57. 57. Cockfighting ParaphernailiaTeasers ­ are small stick with 8 ­ 10 strips of cloth attached to it, used to taunt the bird and make him aggressive.Spurs (Gaffs) are artificial steel spursSparing "gloves" ­ are little leather booties that are temporarily placed over the spursWeight scales and cock holding bags (look like pillow cases)Syringes, antibiotics, scissors for dubbing
    58. 58. Fighting Spurs
    59. 59. Preparing a bird for fighting
    60. 60. A Fight
    61. 61. Abandonment
    62. 62. Section 355 Abandonment of Animals Owner or possessor – abandons an animal (from a dwelling or drops it out of a vehicle into the street) Or – leaves it to lie in the street for more than 3 hours after being notified.
    63. 63. An abandoned cat
    64. 64. Section 357 – Selling Diseased Animals Sells, offers to sell, uses, exposes any animal having a disease dangerous to the life or health of humans or animals Applies to pet stores, breeders, private individuals
    65. 65. Section 373 – Seizure of Animals EXIGENT circumstances Or, if for more than 12 successive hours has been kept in crowded or unhealthy conditions, or – Not properly cared for, or - Without necessary sustenance, food or drink Provided that a Search Warrant is issued
    66. 66. Who may assist with the seizure: Cops Animal Control Humane organizations/SPCAs Veterinarians Private individuals & rescues SPCA or Humane Society in the county where the seizure occurred should be the “seizing agency”.
    67. 67. Seizure of Animals The entire scene must be photographed. Every animal is photographed – several pictures might be necessary to show injuries. Every animal is identified with a number. A separate Information is written for every animal.
    68. 68. Each animal is identified
    69. 69. Section 373-7 Retention of property If the animal(s) are unable to be removed from the existing location: Obtain Court Order to return to the property to ascertain if the animal (s) are receiving proper care. Another Search Warrant may be obtained if animals need to be removed at a later date.
    70. 70. Think Outside the Box. Penal Laws  Sexual Misconduct – Class A Misdemeanor  Engages in sexual conduct with an animal  Any offense related to property  Animals are considered property with a value  Criminal mischief  Larceny  Reckless endangerment of property  Arson