Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today the creation of a new unit within her office to handle cases involving animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect in an effort to better protect vulnerable pets and animals.
"This newly created unit will give a voice to the victims of animal abuse, and send the message that the abuse and neglect of animals is not tolerated in Nassau County," Rice said. "The Animal Cruelty Unit will do everything possible to ensure that those who endanger pets and other animals will face the full brunt of the criminal justice system."
This unit will handle all felony and misdemeanor cases, including:
- Animal abandonment
- Severe physical abuse
- Domestic violence-related abuse, such as violence exacted against a significant other's pet or use of violence to ensure silence of child sex abuse victims
- Neglect, such as food or water deprivation, lack of medical care or shelter
In addition, prosecutors within the unit will conduct training for local law enforcement agencies and give presentations to animal rights groups.
Residents are also encouraged to call in to the unit's newly created hotline at 680-8624 if they think an animal is being abused. All callers will be kept anonymous.