Demand Animal Cruelty Law Enforcement

Target: New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton

Goal: Teach police officers about and enforce animal cruelty laws

In August 2013, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) made a deal with the New York Police Department which passed responsibility for animal cruelty cases to the city police. In December, the ASPCA’s enforcement unit was largely disbanded. However, the NYPD has failed to adequately train their officers about animal cruelty laws. As a result, enforcement has been ineffective.

Since the NYPD took over in January there have been multiple cases of police failure to reprimand offenders or protect animals. In one case, reported by an animal rights advocate, dogs were left on top of a supermarket in two degree weather. Police arrived at the scene and left without helping the animals. In another case, a dog was left outside in the same weather, but police merely notified the owner and left without ensuring the dog was warm and safe.

Responsibility for animal-abuse and animal-neglect cases was given to the NYPD under the pretense that it had better resources to handle the calls. The NYPD certainly has more resources than the ASPCA, but with over 4,000 cases each year the NYPD needs to make a conscientious effort to enforce the city’s animal cruelty laws. The NYPD’s effort must include more training about animal abuse and neglect and a greater emphasis on the importance of animal cruelty laws.

Sign this petition to demand the new police commissioner provide sufficient training to New York police officers and prioritize protection of New York’s animals.


Dear NYPD Commissioner William Bratton,

When the ASPCA dismantled their animal cruelty law enforcement unit in December, it was understood that the NYPD would take larger responsibility for animal-abuse and animal-neglect calls. However, based on reports of inaction and ineffective enforcement, it is clear that police officers have not been adequately trained to understand animal cruelty laws.

In one case, a dog was left outside in two degree weather for several hours. Police officers arrived at the scene, notified the owner, and left without taking action to ensure the safety of the animal.

With over 4,000 cases each year, it is imperative that reducing human-animal crimes is a part of your administration’s priorities. As you return to being New York’s police commissioner, please ensure that officers receive sufficient training about animal cruelty laws and their enforcement.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: on duty via Wikimedia Commons

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532 Signatures

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