Okay, get it out of your system: Pet Detective, blah blah... We get it! However, animal cruelty/neglect is no joke. In fact, the FBI agrees with us - in 2016, they finally added these offenses as a separate category in the Uniform Crime Report, right up with arson and homicide.
Let us explain why!
The short answer: ultimately, animal cruelty is whatever society says it is. The long answer: even though we all have unique perspectives and opinions on what defines animal cruelty, we must respect what the laws of our state outline in this matter. ARS 13-2910 is an extensive statute, covering everything from animal abandonment, to physical abuse and neglect. The statute also includes a definition as to what constitutes an "animal" in the State of Arizona. (Spoiler Alert: fish are not included.) Arizona has come a long way, but the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranked us 28th in the nation for animal protection laws in 2020. Although that leaves room for us to improve, we do have a good foundation to build upon. (Fun fact: Maine ranked #1, and has held the spot for years.)
Animal welfare is not law enforcement's biggest priority, and unfortunately many officers haven't had the opportunity to train in this area. Most importantly, animal crimes are often indicative of other things going on in a family dynamic. It has taken many years, but in 2016, the FBI finally included Animal Cruelty in the Uniform Crime Report as its own category. No longer are these offenses pushed aside into a general crime category, and that's because society and law enforcement are finally recognizing that animal crimes can foreshadow and mirror abuse in human relationships. Teaming up is the best way to help our police protect all life and property. (Fun fact: in Arizona, pets are allowed to be named on orders of protection!)
First of all, if you see an animal in immediate need of help, don't wait - call 911! If the situation isn't immediately dire, or law enforcement is not responding for whatever reason, contact us. Keep in mind that outside of direct law enforcement requests for assistance, these cases need to be handled like our other cases - with a contract and fees. We'd love to take all of our animal cases pro bono, but we're not at a point to do that just yet. We do, however, offer a major reduction in our fees for now. If you see a possible animal cruelty situation and you don't know what to do, call us. Our consultations are free, and if we can't help, we will work to direct you to someone who can. It never hurts to call!
The button below will lead you to Arizona Revised Statute 13-2910, where you can learn what Arizona considers to be the Standards of Care for animals:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio served as Maricopa County's Sheriff from 1993-2016, making him the county's longest-serving sheriff. He's had an extensive 55-year career in law enforcement, with honorable service in the DEA, as well as the United States Army. While the head of MCSO, Sheriff Arpaio's love of animals and zero-tolerance policy for animal cruelty inspired him to create the agency's elite Animal Crimes Unit, as well as MASH (Maricopa Animal Safe Haven). This nonprofit, no-kill shelter for abused and neglected animals in Maricopa County is still operational today, and is a testament to Sheriff Joe's legacy as "America's Toughest Sheriff." Love him or hate him, Sheriff Arpaio has undeniably accomplished more for Arizona's animals than any other public figure in the state. Cool Cat Investigations LLC is honored to have his endorsement for not only our animal cruelty investigations, but our agency overall.
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