The ASPCA investigates about 4,000 complaints of animal cruelty and averages 50-60 arrests every year. But starting in the Bronx next month and citywide by the first of 2014, the New York Police Department will be answering the ASPCA's animal abuse calls.
Previously, animal cruelty and neglect reports would be reported to the ASPCA hotline, then investigated by the unit's former police officers.
The NYPD is already investigating animal abuse 911 calls, but this arrangement will result in complete police investigations. The ASPCA will assist by treating injured animals and conducting forensic evaluations.
ASPCA President & CEO, Matthew Bershadker, said the NYPD is better equipped to handle what the ASPCA can't. They can incorporate enforcement of animal cruelty laws into their daily work and their policy is to clear complaints within eight hours.
According to Garo Alexanian, executive director of the Companion Animal Network, the ASPCA was "between a rock and a hard place, because they have no governmental funding, yet they were providing a governmental service."
Some animal advocates are concerned that this may do more harm than good if officers are not trained in animal handling, and hope this doesn't just lead to more police shootings of dogs.
Hopefully the officers will receive proper training and this will be a beneficial change for all. What are your thoughts on whether this change will help or hurt the animals of New York?
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