By Carlotta Mohamed
The police and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals unveiled a new $5,000 mobile command post Monday that will be used by the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad to stop abuse and protect New York’s most vulnerable animals.
“Our partnership with the ASPCA is critical to our work to fight animal cruelty and combat abuse and neglect,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “By working together with the ASPCA, we are a force multiplier in that effort, and we thank them for making this new mobile command post a reality.”
The size and utility of the new vehicle, made possible by a grant from the ASPCA, will enable the NYPD to act quickly and effectively in cases where large numbers of animals are facing the greatest risk. The van is equipped with computers, collapsible cages, chip readers, lights, leashes and other tools for safely restraining animals.
According to the ASPCA, the NYPD and ASPCA have been working side-by-side since January 2014, and have treated more than 3,000 animal victims citywide. The partnership began with a four-month pilot program in the Bronx at the end of 2013.
“This vehicle is one of the tools that will enable the NYPD to act even more quickly and effectively in cases where large numbers of animals are facing the greatest risk,” said Howard Lawrence, vice president of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement. “The mobile center is also a symbol of the NYPD and ASPCA’s unwavering dedication to animals in crisis. When people see it, they will know critical help for neglected and abused animals is now closer and more capable than ever.”
Lawrence added, “There’s no question that New York City has become a safer and more compassionate city for animals in need, thanks in large part to the ASPCA-NYPD Partnership.”
According to the NYPD, when animal cruelty is reported anywhere in the five boroughs, the NYPD takes the lead in responding while the ASPCA provides the department with critical support in the form of forensic evaluations, medical treatment, animal behavior assessments and more.
The alliance allows for a faster, more widespread and more thorough response to animal abuse complaints when and where they happen, the NYPD said.
The ASPCA said 652 animals rescued by the NYPD received treatment and 123 cruelty arrests were made in 2017.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha