How Do the Police in New York City Deal With Animal Cruelty?

Literary Hub | May 13, 2019:

On the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad

Outside an expansive seventh-floor auditorium, I gaze at the sweeping Manhattan skyline. The Police Academy in Queens, New York, is holding a training session today on animal cruelty for its police force.

I first reached out to the New York Police Department (NYPD) to learn how police today would handle a call about animal abuse. It turns out that New York is ahead of its time. Headed by Sergeant Mike Murphy, the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad is the nation’s first-ever unit of detectives who work full-time investigating animal cruelty.

Murphy invited me to attend this training session, which is jointly taught by the NYPD and the ASPCA.

The police were always required by law to investigate animal cruelty if they saw it or received a tip-off. But up until a few years ago, the bulk of that policing role fell to the ASPCA. Whenever a 911 call of animal abuse came into the police system, it was usually routed to the ASPCA.

Now, through a new collaboration, the NYPD takes the primary role in investigating animal cruelty and enforcing animal cruelty laws in New York. This change has led to rippling effects…

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