This article puts a positive spin on it, saying the police have more officers to dedicate to it since ASPCA has transferred much of its workforce away from abuse enforcement to go to advocacy. The pilot program reportedly went well. But I don't live in NY and have no experience with either group. I don't know what will really happen.
The change is one that has been sought for years by some animal advocates, who said the ASPCA's small enforcement staff couldn't handle the volume of abuse reports and was taking weeks or months to respond to calls regular police could probably get to in hours.
As part of a pilot program, NYPD officers have been handling animal abuse complaints in the Bronx since September, said ASPCA spokeswoman Emily Schneider.
"During that four-month period," she said, "the NYPD has responded in a positive way that illustrates how their size and scope will allow them to enforce animal cruelty laws across NYC better than we could on our own."
If they can have a few officers dedicated solely for this purpose, I could see how it would work out much better for the animals (a packing, trained officer might be able to get more headway, and more quickly).
If however, they are just putting more responsibility on existing officers I don't think this will do much good for the animals unless there are officers who personally take the time to care.
I live in NYC and actually adopted my cat after he was rescued from one of these ASPCA-investigated apartments (animal hoarder/neglect).
I know the ASPCA program was over-burdened given the number of complaints and investigations they handled. I was very sad to hear they have ended the program, because they seemed to do an amazing job with the rescues and performing the investigation/extraction of animals in abusive/neglectful homes. As you all have said, I can only hope the NYPD creates the same kind of dedicated cruelty investigation unit to do this work… I hate the thought of all those complaints (and potential rescue animals) ending up under the radar because the NYPD is overworked...
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