The New York Police Department (NYPD) and the ASPCA have recently partnered to raise awareness and crack down on cases of animal abuse and neglect throughout New York City.
According to a July 9 AM New York article, the NYPD and ASPCA held an event at Tompkins Square Park Tuesday, July 8 to encourage the public to call 911 if they know a crime against an animal is taking place, and to call 311 if they believe an animal is being abused or neglected by its owner.
Beginning in December of last year, the NYPD began responding to these calls reporting animal abuse and neglect as part of normal law enforcement protocol, AM New York reports. Before that, Humane Law Enforcement officers for the ASPCA handled most of these calls.
The change was made to increase efficiency — the ASPCA said in a statement that it expects to save five times as many animals this year with the help of the NYPD than it was able to in any other recent year, according to AM New York.
The NYPD will not, however, handle situations involving dog bites, which have increased by about 86% in the last 16 years, sending 26 people to the hospital every day.
George Kline, the law enforcement liaison for the ASPCA, says that NYPD officers have taken on their new duty enthusiastically.
“A lot of cops are animal owners. They own pets and they work with animals also,” Kline said at the event in Tompkins Square Park. “Police officers and law enforcement in general have always had a soft spot in their hearts for animals.”