investigations, objective witnesses,
photographs and veterinarians’
reports, so citizen advocates who
think law enforcement is sluggish
about an investigation should avoid
Facebook and call [the police]
as soon as they suspect animal
Likewise, Heiser says tipsters
should be familiar with state
animal cruelty laws that a;ect
investigations and prosecutions.
“For example, some states
require that the state agricultural
department be the first to
investigate equine cruelty, because
horses are considered livestock,”
According to Gross, most
reports of suspected horse-related
animal cruelty are unfounded.
Even so, each deserves to be
investigated, he says.
“We investigate every case
because it makes a di;erence,”
says Gross. “We could save that
animal’s life.” HI
PATRICE D. BUCCIARELLI is a
freelance writer based in Florida.
■ If you are a casual observer
or a passerby: Never enter a
pasture or other farm premises
without the owner’s permission.
Never remove a horse from a
pasture or barn area without
the owner’s permission.
■ Don’t feed the animals:
Investigators need warrants
from the courts to legally
enter premises and investigate
conditions there. In many states,
investigators cannot obtain
search warrants if food and
water is visible on the property.
Therefore, it’s better to call law
enforcement personnel and let
■ Take notes: Investigators
love details. Take lots of notes
about the horses’ condition,
the condition of the pasture, or
any other portion of the farm
that can be seen safely from
a distance or with the owner’s
permission. Note the time, date,
and exact location where the
observation took place, such as
any intersection street names or
■ Take pictures: Take photos
or videos of the horses, farm or
barn conditions for the report.
■ Provide your name:
Investigators want to know who
is supplying the report. Later,
they may want to conduct a
more extensive interview.
Whatever information you
provide will be kept confidential.
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