ASPCA and the NYPD: Partners Against Crime

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 5:45pm
Leashed dog on city street with taxi in background.

By ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker

Following up on a promise I made to you last August, I’m proud to announce the full citywide rollout of our pioneering collaboration with the New York City Police Department. Rarely has the fight to end animal cruelty in New York City—or any city for that matter—been supported by such a powerful and broad enforcement partner.

The NYPD is taking the lead in responding to complaints and enforcing animal cruelty laws in New York City, while the ASPCA is investing significant resources to expand space and services to care for seized animals, including forensic evaluations, medical treatment, behavior assessments and backup legal support and training. We’ve already dedicated a new ward to these animals at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, including additional space for housing and rehabilitation.

All eight NYPD patrol boroughs, several detective boroughs, the Housing Bureau, and the Legal Bureau, as well as a number of assistant district attorneys, have been personally trained by ASPCA staff with extensive NYPD or New York City prosecutorial experience. That training continues, and NYPD officers have been eager and enthusiastic.

The result: a much broader, quicker and more effective way to protect and save animal lives. During the four-month pilot phase, the NYPD responded to more than 800 calls to 911 and 311, took more than 25 complaint reports, and made 12 arrests. More than 30 animals related to these cases have received care at the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

The citywide expansion comes at a busy time for the NYPD—they just welcomed their first new Commissioner in 12 years, William Bratton—but the needs of New York City animals just can’t wait. The roll-out to all five boroughs began operationally at the start of the year, and within less than three weeks, there’ve been 16 complaint reports taken across the five boroughs, including three arrests, and 24 rescued animals.

Bottom line: We’re already well on pace to saving four to five times as many animals each year than the ASPCA has done during any year in recent history.

Don't think of these animals as numbers, at least any more than you would your own pets. They include Hall and Oates, two underweight dogs living in deplorable conditions in a Bronx backyard; nine kittens rescued from a hoarding situation; and Hank, another canine victim of cruelty. Stories like these not only exemplify how the partnership is succeeding, they also illustrate the severity of animal cruelty and the need to elevate these heinous crimes.

Commissioner Bratton has shown tremendous support for this partnership, noting that “NYPD Officers have historically enforced laws to protect the city’s animals, and now the NYPD will be taking the lead role in investigating incidents of animal abuse and neglect citywide.”

We’re creating a lasting positive legacy for New York and New York animals, and hope the idea of unleashing existing police departments on cowardly animal abusers will catch on across the country.

In the meantime, if you see cruelty, stop cruelty. Call 9-1-1 for acts in progress, or call or click 3-1-1 otherwise. As I said last summer, it's your city. They're your animals. You can be their voice, too. 

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Anne Onymous

What happened to the Animal Control Officers we're all familiar with?
I think they did a wonderful job. And they were focused on animals cruelty.


We have an animal shelter here in Douglas,Ga. But they will not do anything to some people that has reported some people that is being Cruel to their animals. They even have horses that are not even able to walk because of their huffs. It is terrible that they( the animal shelter guy) will go out there & just talk to them. He knows these people so he will not do anything. You can count every rib in their bodies & they even have dogs that are not well or in good health. I don't nor does anyone else know what else to do. I wish we had a pet rescue shelter here for all animals. If I had the money I sure would open one this is just terrible to just sit back & see animals suffer the way these are. Someone PLEASE HELP!!! I don't know what else to do.


Congratulations! This is good news! I wish law enforcement could be more responsive to elder abuse inflicted by court-appointed guardians. It seems that law enforcement says it doesn't have jurisdiction over a court. But some of these people are much worse than family perpetrators, especially when it comes to abuse of vulnerable elders.


I am thankful everyday for the ASPCA and will forever be a monthly guardian. Thank you for your daily efforts to save our animals. They deserve our help and so much more. As I am able to afford more, I will donate more, I promise. Thank you again.


Great news. Keep up the good work!


Nommer une 茅cole apr猫s Vsquez symbolise l'opposition 脿 la discrimination et est un acte de fiert茅 culturelle, a d茅clar茅 Union Alisal surintendant du district scolaire John Ramirez Jr.