Train Police Forces to Rescue Animals in Need

Target: Phil Arkow, Coordinator of the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse

Goal: Help formulate a special police force charged with protecting animals.

From beached sea creatures to beleaguered pets, one country is ensuring that its best and brightest safeguard the well-being of its animals. Formed in 2012, the Netherlands animal police force is a full-time brigade that serves as a justice system and a social service all-in-one for the country’s animal population. This one-of-a-kind initiative is a standard for animal welfare and stands as a promising template for how model laws and practices can reach beyond their borders and affect widespread change.

Many Netherlands police officials receive training to handle animal-focused cases, with about 250 individuals comprising a full-time force. Training is crucial in these cases because ensuring the welfare of animals often includes helping pet owners who may be in disadvantaged situations. The personnel are prepared to assess a situation and take any action needed, whether removing an animal from a home or connecting pet owners with resources that will better the home environment. The trained personnel also remain a valuable asset in animal cruelty cases where expert guidance is often the difference between a slap on the wrist and a punishment that fits the gravity of the crimes.

The men and women who make up this special force stand as strong animal rights advocates supported by a system that values animal welfare. Their success would be diminished without the existence of a solid legal framework for animal protection. This framework includes the country’s Animals Act and a beneficial 911-like system that enables citizens to report animals in distress. Other countries could and should follow this lead.

Sign this petition and urge a key branch of the National Sheriffs’ Association to encourage the implementation of  a nationwide animal police program dedicated to the safety and welfare of our nation’s animals.


Dear Mr. Arkow,

The abused, the abandoned, the impoverished: these are just a few of the many saved by a truly special task force. These forces receive the most rigorous training. They carry all the necessary credentials and equipment of any sworn officer of the law. And every day, they connect untold numbers of living beings to a better future.

The Netherlands animal police force was not born of a whim or a novelty but a steadfast commitment…a concerted dedication of one country’s leadership to ensure all living beings within its borders enjoy a life free from suffering. These individuals rescue animals from untenable conditions; they have aided countless individuals and families in becoming the responsible citizens who can better care for not only their pets but for themselves as well. The force  is aided by strict, consistent laws regarding animal welfare and by a countrywide reporting system that encourages community collaboration and involvement.

We are a nation that flourishes in an environment of progression and improvement. We are innovators who incorporate the best ideas and models into our tapestry and implement these ideals in a uniquely American way, as your organization demonstrates. We better ourselves through learning, through trying, and through doing. Animals and police forces already have a longstanding beneficial relationship that could be deepened even more.  Consider how the Netherlands’ hallmark of animal welfare, the animal police force,  can one day become an American standard.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cache County Sheriffs Office

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One Comment

  1. Law enforcement should learn to think before taking any action at all! They all need to be trained how to properly handle a scared animal without shooting and killing them! Scared animals can bite, so there’s a right way to deal with this type of situation always. Don’t shoot first and ask questions later!

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