Our area is seeing an increasing number of animal abuse cases, so Dawn Hayman at Spring Farm Cares organized a workshop to help agencies dealing with the cases understand the laws. Most animal cases fall under the Ag & Markets laws, not the penal code most officers are versed in.
"They’re difficult, they’re under Ag & Markets instead of the penal code, so a lot of law enforcement aren’t familiar with the Ag & Markets laws. So we reached out to have this workshop today hopefully to educate our local law enforcement, and DA’s offices, and all of that to be able to prosecute these cases properly."
Reno DiDomenico is the Vice President for Humane Law Enforcement. He addressed police officers and animal rights advocates from around the State on a number of issues. Reno’s from Rochester where dog fights can become particularly dangerous for law enforcement, so he’s included a training session in the workshop.
"They’re also being trained- dog encounter training, which helps the officer understand dog body behavior so that they don’t necessarily have to shoot a dog. There’s other options that they can do to deal with a dog that’s being aggressive towards them without having to shoot it."
The primary purpose of this workshop is to keep everyone current on Ag & Market laws, but SPCA Investigator William Pulaski tells us how many animal abuse cases point to additional crimes.
"There definitely is a correlation with a lot of violent crime… just in Oneida County alone there’s been, you know over the years that we’ve been doing it, 6 years now, quite a few homicides, violent homicides, and it’s also involved animal cruelty."
Pulaski says domestic violence and child abuse are also common issues when dealing with an animal abuse case. That’s why law enforcement encourages everyone to report even a suspected case of animal abuse.