Increasing Prosecution of Animal Cruelty: Next Steps for Communities

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You probably already agree that animal cruelty should be investigated and prosecuted more in your community. Here are some concrete steps that you and community leaders like prosecutors and police chiefs can take.

Steps for Citizens

  1. Meet with local representatives to discuss your concerns about the lack of attention that animal cruelty currently receives. Contact For All Animals if you’d like a copy of our anti-cruelty PowerPoint presentation.
  1. Start an email, phone, or letter writing campaign to the local prosecutor’s office asking that animal abusers be both prosecuted and given the maximum penalty under state law. Politely but firmly include that you will be voting for the most animal-friendly prosecutor candidate in the next election.

Steps for Community Leaders, Law Enforcement, and Prosecutors

  1. Make the animal cruelty reporting system easier for citizens to navigate.
    – Clarify how community members can file animal cruelty complaints. Make this information available on the city’s website.
    – Allow citizens to make complaints anonymously.
    – Ensure complaints are promptly and politely responded to.
  1. Create a cross-reporting system for police officers, animal control officers, animal shelters, veterinarians, social workers, and emergency response personnel.
  1. Offer animal law training opportunities for staff members.
    – Various national animal organizations offer free trainings for law enforcement.
  1. Work with existing programs that help prosecutors with animal cruelty cases like the Animal Legal Defense Fund Criminal Justice Program which offers assistance to police, animal control officers, and prosecutors with legal research, sample pleadings, and location of expert witnesses. The Animal Legal Defense Fund also provides rewards for leads upon request.
  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use educational resources like this 88 page in-depth guide to prosecuting animal cruelty from the National District Attorneys Association.
  1. Consider establishing a city-wide task force to increase animal cruelty prosecutions.

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