Recognizing, Reporting and Investigating Animal Cruelty


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Recognizing, Reporting and Investigating Animal Cruelty

  1. 1. Animal Law CRJS 230 Hudson Valley Community College Valerie A. Lang, J.D., M.L.S.
  2. 2. Animal Cruelty Investigation New York State Article 26
  3. 3. Why bother investigating.. <ul><ul><ul><li>Indicator of violence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Juvenile violence <ul><li>every year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4000 kids under 18 commit murder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtually all of them were abused and began abusing animals by the time they reached their teens. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Luke Woodham 16 – 1997 killed his mother and 3 classmates in Pearl Mississippi
  6. 6. Kip Kinkle 15 – killed his parents and 2 classmates wounding 22 more in Oregon
  7. 7. Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold killed 13 and wounded 20 in Littleton, Colorado.
  8. 8. <ul><li>All of them were known to torture animals </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody did anything about it. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Serial Killers <ul><li>The FBI estimates there are 500 serial killers operating in the U.S. at any one time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All known serial killers tortured animals </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Jeffrey Dahmer – killed 17 young men, started torturing animals at age 10
  11. 11. Albert Desalvo – The Boston Strangler Strangled and killed 13 women Trapped dogs in orange crates and shot arrows through them.
  12. 12. Edmund Kemper – mutilated cats putting their heads on poles as “trophies”. Convicted in 1973 of 8 counts of murder including his mother
  13. 13. Brenda Spencer – set cats and dogs on fire In 1979, shot 9 people in an elementary school, killing 2
  14. 14. Other violent crimes <ul><ul><li>88% of child abuse and 70-80% of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spouse abuse also included animal cruelty. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Why bother? <ul><ul><ul><li>1. We’re talking about both felony and misdemeanor crimes. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. Could lead to discovery of OTHER criminal activity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. 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 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4. Concern for: </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Article 26 <ul><li>Section 350 of the New York State Agriculture & Market Law states: An animal is every living creature except a human being. </li></ul><ul><li>(Remember how a definition can affect an outcome: Queso the Cat) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Section 350–2 <ul><li>“ Torture or Cruelty” </li></ul><ul><li>Every ACT – Unjustifiable killing, beating, burning, hanging, shooting, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Omission </li></ul><ul><li>Neglect </li></ul><ul><li>whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted . </li></ul>
  18. 18. Section 353 <ul><li>Overloading, overdriving, unjustifiably injuring or killing any animal </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to provide proper sustenance – food or drink </li></ul><ul><li>ANY CRUELTY (refer to definition 350-2) ANY ACT, OMISSION OR NEGLECT causing unjustifiable suffering or death. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Unjustifiably injuring a wild animal – beak tied shut, nails impaled thru eyes
  20. 20. Failure to provide proper sustenance
  21. 21. Any omission or neglect <ul><li>Leaving dogs in HOT CARS </li></ul><ul><li>Overgrown hooves on horses – resulting in suffering </li></ul><ul><li>Collars embedded into dogs necks </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of vet care resulting in suffering (a disease or injury not treated) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Neglected hooves
  23. 23. Be on the lookout for situations that lead to neglect: Animal hoarders Puppy mills
  24. 24. Animal Hoarders <ul><li>Definition – A person who amasses more animals than he/she can properly care for . </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals generally fail to recognize, or refuse to acknowledge when the animals in their custody become victims of gross neglect </li></ul>
  25. 25. Animal Hoarders
  26. 26. Animal Hoarder
  27. 27. Animal Hoarder residence
  28. 28. Fire Hazard
  29. 29. Cockroach infestation
  30. 30. Unsanitary conditions
  31. 31. Puppy Mills <ul><li>Several breeds of dogs may be found </li></ul><ul><li>in overcrowded – unhealthy conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Dogs are usually kept in cages or on chains for their entire lifetime. </li></ul>
  32. 32. This puppy mill warehoused Coonhounds and German Shepherds
  33. 33. Puppy mill victim
  34. 34. Section 353a <ul><li>“ Buster’s Law” – Aggravated Cruelty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Felony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>§ 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, &quot;aggravated cruelty&quot; 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. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Cat sacrificed and hung
  36. 36. Dog slowly starved - tail cut off with butcher knife
  37. 37. Section 353b <ul><li>Dog Shelter Law </li></ul><ul><li>Violations indicated by a combination of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shelter itself, including waste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weather Conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical condition or breed of the dog </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Section 353b <ul><li>Beginning 72 hours after a charge of violating this section, each day a defendant fails to correct deficiencies in the dog shelter shall constitute a separate offense . </li></ul>
  39. 39. Inadequate shelter
  40. 40. <ul><li>§ 353-c. Electrocution of fur-bearing animals prohibited. </li></ul><ul><li>Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall intentionally kill, or stun to facilitate the killing of, a fur-bearing animal by means of an electrical current. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A violation of subdivision one of this section is a class A misdemeanor. </li></ul>
  41. 41. § 353-d. Confinement of companion animals in vehicles: extreme temperatures. 1. A person shall not confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury due to exposure to such extreme heat or cold. 2. Where the operator of such a vehicle cannot be promptly located, a police officer, peace officer, or peace officer acting as an agent of a duly incorporated humane society may take necessary steps to remove the animal or animals from the vehicle.
  42. 42. Animal Fighting - 351 <ul><ul><li>Prohibits fighting between all animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fighting dogs for amusement (street fighting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training with intent that such animal engage in fighting. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Breeds, sells, offers to sell any animal with an intent that it be used for fighting. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Permitting fighting on premises </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Owning or possessing animal under circumstances that the animal be used for fighting. (misdemeanor)* A fight also has to be occurring on premises for this to be a felony. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Being a spectator – having paid an admission fee or made a wager. (misdemeanor) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Dog Fighting <ul><ul><li>May require undercover operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often discovered through underground fighting magazines, drug informants, the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Called in by neighbor for barking dogs </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Dogfighting <ul><li>In the US, fighting dogs are almost exclusively Pit Bulls. </li></ul><ul><li>They are usually kept in “yards” on very heavy chains to strengthen neck muscles for fighting. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Dog Fighting Paraphernalia <ul><ul><li>Treadmills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Breaking sticks - Plastic or wood of varying length used to pry the jaws of a dog off of another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spring-poles hanging from beams with various items attached such as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tires, animal skins, rope </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dogs lock on to the item with jaws for long periods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Builds strength in the jaw and neck muscles </li></ul></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Dog Fighting Paraphernalia <ul><ul><li>Weights attached to dog’s collar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bottles of vitamins & steroids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medication vials, syringes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saline solution in plastic bags used to re-hydrate dog’s bodies after activity </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Dog Fighting Paraphernalia
  48. 49. Dog Fighting - <ul><li>Conditions of the dogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Missing body parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ears, eyes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recent and old bite marks, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ears often chopped off </li></ul></ul>
  49. 50. Dog Fighting - Street Fighting <ul><ul><li>Occurs in playgrounds, streets, alleys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Owners will state the fight was an accident. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition to pit bulls, other dogs are used. </li></ul></ul>
  50. 51. Cockfighting <ul><ul><ul><li>Kept in single cages, stacked in double and triple layers OR outside tethered to barrels. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Combs and wattles (red growths on head and under chin) cut off </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  51. 52. Cockfighting Paraphernailia <ul><ul><ul><li>Teasers ­ small stick with 8 - 10 strips of cloth attached to it, used to taunt the bird and make him aggressive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spurs (Gaffs)- artificial steel spurs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sparing &quot;gloves&quot; ­ little leather booties that are temporarily placed over the spurs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weight scales and cock holding bags (look like pillow cases) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Syringes, antibiotics,scissors for dubbing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  52. 53. Fighting spurs
  53. 54. Preparing a bird for fighting
  54. 55. A Fight
  55. 56. Section 355 Abandonment of Animals <ul><li>Owner or possessor – abandons an animal (from a dwelling or drops it out of a vehicle into the street) </li></ul><ul><li>Or – Leaves it to lie in the street for more than 3 hours after being notified. </li></ul>
  56. 57. An abandoned cat
  57. 58. Section 357 – Selling Diseased Animals <ul><li>Sells, offers to sell, uses, exposes any animal having a disease dangerous to the life or health of humans or animals </li></ul><ul><li>Applies to pet stores, breeders, private individuals </li></ul>
  58. 59. Section 373 – Seizure of Animals <ul><li>EXIGENT circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Or, if for more than 12 successive hours has been kept in crowded or unhealthy conditions, or – </li></ul><ul><li>Not properly cared for, or - </li></ul><ul><li>Without necessary sustenance, food or drink </li></ul><ul><li>Provided that a Search Warrant is issued </li></ul>
  59. 60. Who may assist with the seizure: <ul><li>Cops </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Control </li></ul><ul><li>Humane organizations/SPCAs </li></ul><ul><li>Veterinarians </li></ul><ul><li>Private individuals & rescues </li></ul><ul><li>SPCA or Humane Society in the county where the seizure occurred should be the “seizing agency”. </li></ul>
  60. 61. Seizure of Animals <ul><li>The entire scene must be photographed. </li></ul><ul><li>Every animal is photographed – several pictures might be necessary to show injuries. </li></ul><ul><li>Every animal is identified with a number. </li></ul><ul><li>A separate Information is written for every animal. </li></ul>
  61. 62. Each animal is identified
  62. 63. Section 373-7 Retention of property <ul><li>If the animal(s) are unable to be removed from the existing location: </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain Court Order to return to the property to ascertain if the animal (s) are receiving proper care . </li></ul><ul><li>Another Search Warrant may be obtained if animals need to be removed at a later date. </li></ul>
  63. 64. Think Outside the Box. <ul><li>Penal Laws </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sexual Misconduct – Class A Misdemeanor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engages in sexual conduct with an animal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any offense related to property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Animals are considered property with a value </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal mischief </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Larceny </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reckless endangerment of property </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Arson </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>