GLOVERSVILLE, NY-The Fulton County Regional SPCA and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office are proud to announce the formation of the Fulton County Animal Crimes Task Force. The task force is a multi-agency network that will respond to and prosecute allegations of animal abuse, neglect, and cruelty in Fulton County, New York. The group will collaborate to investigate reported animal crimes and/or situations of animal neglect throughout Fulton County and utilize the resources available to work toward achieving justice on behalf of the animals.
The task force is comprised of representatives of Fulton County Regional SPCA, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Fulton County Probation Department, New York State Police, the Gloversville Police Department, as well as area Veterinarians.
“This task force was created to be the voice for animals who have none. We need to do better to protect such helpless animals; those who love us unconditionally and only ask that we love and protect them in return. Our goal is to create a network of professionals throughout Fulton County who will work together to efficiently investigate and prosecute animal abuse cases. We want to make sure that not only our law enforcement officers, but the general public know what to look for and what to do when they suspect or observe animal abuse. It is very important that these offenders are prosecuted effectively while ensuring that the offender does not reoffend. I am very proud to say we have some of best people on this task force and am excited to get to work. I want to leave you with one quick reminder, if you see something, say something. Visit our website and send us a message if you suspect animal abuse or call your local law enforcement agency.” says Acting District Attorney Amanda Nellis.
“We have the privilege of and a responsibility to educate the community and its Law Enforcement Officers about these crimes. We are confident that having a dedicated and focused animal welfare team spanning the County will strengthen our collective ability to making a difference in the lives of animals in the community we all serve” states FCRSPCA President Renee L. Earl
“Gloversville Police Department takes crimes against animals very seriously and has worked well with Fulton County Regional SPCA and surrounding agencies in the past. We look forward to working together as a task force to pool our resources and increase our knowledge on these matters.” comments Gloversville Police Department’s Chief Anthony Clay.
One important component of the Task Force are the members of the Fulton County Probation Department. “Conviction on animal abuse and animal cruelty charges implies an inherent inability to provide appropriate care to animals in the future. Since serious and violent animal cruelty offences are often associated with other crimes, it is imperative to hold perpetrators accountable with such sentences as a substantial period of probation supervision to allow for treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. With a period of probation, a judge can ban an offender from owning or possessing animals, as well as have all affected animals be forfeited to an animal protection organization for rehoming and placement. In addition, while the ban of owning or possessing animals is in effect, the judge can request that probation officers be permitted to make unannounced home visits as a term of probation to ensure that this provision is enforced” explains Cheryl Galarneau, Fulton County Probation Dept. Director.
“The task force is a welcome new tool providing training and investigative support in our County. Having the ability to collaborate with a team of professionals that are dedicated to the welfare of animals will be an incredible resource for the County. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department is looking forward to the partnership the task force brings and the successes which can be achieved as we share resources, knowledge, and expertise across agencies and professions.” says Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.
The Task Force meets bi-monthly while keeping in constant communication in between meetings. The community is welcomed to visit the website at https://actf.fcrspca.org. “We are undoubtedly stronger together and we are all working toward the same goal of advocating for and protecting the animals in our community.” says Earl.