SQSPCA adds animal cruelty information, reporting tool to website

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From the Susquehanna SPCA:

Otsego County citizens who suspect animal cruelty or neglect can now go to the
Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) website to learn more
about what to look for and to report suspected cruelty online.

As part of the Otsego County Animal Cruelty Task Force, or PETS (Prevention, Education,
Training and Systems), the SQSPCA has created website resources specific to recognizing and
reporting animal cruelty and neglect, including a “Report Cruelty” button at the top right of the
website home page.

“It is important to note that while the SQSPCA is not law enforcement and, as such, cannot take
action on its own, we are fortunate to have very supportive policing agencies in our
communities. When our staff believe a report should be taken seriously, local law enforcement
will, too,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes.

“Folks must also understand that, in some instances, action will not be not immediate. There
may be cases where there is not currently enough evidence of suspected cruelty to take action
but for which evidence may be building,” cautioned Haynes.

In addition to the new reporting tool, the SQSPCA website also includes information and links to
news articles on PETS, ways to recognize the physical and environmental signs of animal
cruelty, and steps to take if you witness or suspect animal cruelty.

“If you would like to remain anonymous to those suspected of animal cruelty, we can arrange
that,” Haynes said. “However, in order for the report to be taken seriously, we do need your
name and contact information to share with law enforcement.”

The goal of PETS, formed in February of 2019, is to prevent and combat animal cruelty in
Otsego County through education and empowerment of law enforcement and the general
public. Task force members intend to accomplish this by putting together training for law
enforcement, networking with other animal protection agencies, and establishing a
standardized system of reporting suspected animal cruelty.

“The Otsego County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the community that animal cruelty is a crime,”
reiterated Sheriff Richard J. Devlin. “The State of New York has criminalized the cruel treatment
of animals. However, animal abuse and cruelty continue to occur in Otsego County and
throughout New York State.

“The Otsego County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Susquehanna Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, will do whatever we can to assist our citizens with animal
related problems. Furthermore, we seek to protect animals from the neglect and abuse
inflicted upon them in violation of current laws.

We continue these efforts through education, mediation, investigation and enforcement working toward a healthy community where quality of life matters,” Devlin said.

Those suspecting animal cruelty or neglect can visit https://sqspca.org/ or call (607) 547-8111 and follow the prompts.

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