"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Animal abuse is one of the most devastating crimes that we see, not only due to the distress and harm caused to animals and pets, but also because it is always preventable.
DA David Soares created the Albany County Animal CrueltyTaskforce, or "ACT" as a tool for response, prevention, and education about animal abuse and hoarding crimes.
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- The Albany County DA's Office Animal Cruelty Taskforce
In August 2013, Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced the formation of an Animal Cruelty Taskforce.
The overall mission of the taskforce is to utilize a multi-agency response to animal abuse, neglect, and hoarding cases, as well as combine law enforcement prevention efforts and public education outreach. DA Soares has designated a felony level Assistant District Attorney from the Special Victims Unit to oversee all animal related crimes. In addition to prosecuting these crimes in the courtroom, prosecutors from the office will also play an important role on the taskforce.
Prosecutors will collaborate with medical and rescue professionals to hold trainings for veterinarians, pet store operators, groomers, and anyone else who may be the “eyes and ears” in the pet and animal community. The taskforce will also seek to address issues that arise in the rural population, such as livestock and farm animals.
Taskforce members will include local veterinarians, law enforcement officers, delegates from the New York State Attorney General’s Office, members of animal rescue shelters such as the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the New York State Animal Protection Federation, and representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension to aid in the rural components of the taskforce goals.