Animal Cruelty Investigations
To report animal cruelty: (716) 875-7360
After hours animal cruely/rescue emergencies: (716) 827-1609
SPCA officers perform approximately 200 animal cruelty investigations per month.
In the last 24 months, approximately 850 animals have been rescued from alleged cruelty situations.
There are 3 SPCA Peace Officers solely dedicated to investigating animal cruelty in all of Erie County, NY, a community of approximately one million people.
In 2010, a convicted animal abuser was sentenced in Buffalo City Court to one year in jail for starving a dog to death. This is one of the first cases in SPCA history to warrant such a serious penalty!
The largest animal cruelty investigation and seizure in the SPCA’s 144-year history took place in March of 2010, when the SPCA rescued 73 horses, 53 cats and four dogs from "Eden Farm" in East Aurora. SPCA officers charged the animal owner with 124 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. This case is still currently in litigation more than one year later.
Previous to March of 2010, the largest animal cruelty investigation and animal rescue by the SPCA Serving Erie County took place in June 2003, when the SPCA rescued, housed, and rehabilitated 124 animals from a Town of Evans puppy mill. Animals seized included 99 dogs, miniature horses and other farm animals, cats, exotic birds, and more. It took over one year for SPCA representatives to work with the terrified animals, socialize them, and adopt them into new, loving homes.
The SPCA Investigations Department offers an "Animal Awareness Course," a first-for-the-nation course for those charged with animal abuse. These courses utilize lectures, group discussions, problem-solving exercises, empathy-building techniques, and self-analyses, encouraging participants to take personal responsibility for their actions, and to initiate a change in attitude.
SPCA officers were finally able to charge certain animal abusers with felony animal cruelty after New York State passed “Buster’s Law” on June 28, 1999. Prior law allowed only for a misdemeanor conviction and a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The most unusual animal seized in an SPCA cruelty case? Two elephants, seized from a so-called children’s temporary “petting zoo” at Tonawanda's Brighton Park in the early 1970s!
See exclusive video on one of the SPCA's most famous animal cruelty survivors, Samson the Greyhound.