About Us

What is Humane Law Enforcement?
Humane Law Enforcement is a division of law enforcement that is designed to protect domestic animals from abuse and neglect. New York State humane laws require that animals be provided with appropriate sanitary living conditions, food, water and medical treatment when they are sick or injured. According to humane laws, those who commit acts of violence or fail to care for the animals they are harboring can be punished with fines and/or imprisonment. Animals that are considered domestic under humane laws include dogs, cats, exotic pets and livestock such as cattle, horses, goats and chickens.

Cases that are investigated and prosecuted under humane laws are often those of torture and violence committed against animals. Some acts of abuse include dog fighting, cock fighting, animal starvation, the shooting of domestic animals with pellet guns, and the intentional mutilation of domestic animals. Neglect may include inadequate shelter, lack of food and/or water, and absence of medical care.

Humane Law Enforcement Officers (HLEO’s) are responsible for investigating acts of animal cruelty, making arrests, providing conditions with which pet owners must comply, and educating the public about animal cruelty. Officers are specially trained in animal health and first aid, and they have in-depth knowledge of the animal cruelty laws of New York State. HLEO's can obtain and execute search and seizure warrants, issue summonses, make arrests and prosecute offenders. They can seize animals in distress without a court order and initiate a civil forfeiture proceeding to obtain ownership of those animal. Their primary goal is to protect the health and welfare of animals by choosing to pursue cases civilly or criminally.

The Hudson Valley Humane Law Enforcement Division is the only law enforcement agency in Orange County that specializes in animal cruelty and abuse.
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