ASPCA and Cops Office Work Together to Help Police Stop Dogfighting

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The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is pleased to announce its partnership with The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to develop a resource packet that will support police and community efforts to combat dogfighting. This packet will provide law enforcement with the necessary tools and training resources to recognize dogfighting, evidence collection and processing, teaching techniques for handling victimized animals, establish partnerships with prosecutors for prosecution, and to build animal task forces within the communities they serve.

Dogfighting is a violent crime that has been practiced and grown in popularity in many urban and rural areas over the last decade. In communities where dogfighting is prevalent, it is considered a significant safety concern for both the public and law enforcement, and it often co-occurs with other illicit activity such as illegal gambling, drugs, illegal weapons possession, parole and probation violations, child endangerment and brings about other violent behaviors.

“The ASPCA is honored to have partnered with COPS on this extremely important initiative,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Our organization was founded almost a century and a half ago as a law enforcement agency to fight animal cruelty, and we have seen time and time again that the best way to tackle it is by involving the community—and that’s exactly what this partnership will do.”

“Ask anyone who lives in a community where dogfighting occurs and they will tell you that they want this illegal activity and all of the problems associated with it gone,” said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. “COPS is pleased to support the development of resources that help citizens work with law enforcement to make their community safer, and together with the ASPCA we believe that we can have a significant impact on dogfighting.”

These resources will be available in the form of a COPS Toolkit in the summer of 2008. The Toolkit will be downloadable from the COPS website, produced as a CD-ROM, and in hardcopy.

Partnerships and education are critical components in combating the crimes of dogfighting. This toolkit will provide additional resources that will help to build and sustain collaborative efforts between law enforcement, animal control agencies, humane groups, prosecutors and the community.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide and supporting state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Since 1995, COPS has invested $12.4 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring of more than 117,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, technical assistance, conferences and webcasts.

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 [c] [3] not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York’s animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series “Animal Precinct” on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit

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Inga Fairclough

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