ALBUQUERQUE---Attorney General Gary King, who chairs the newly formed Animal Cruelty Taskforce (ACT), says the new ACT Hotline is up and taking calls. The New Mexico toll-free hotline’s purpose is to take information about animal fighting and extreme cruelty to animals. The number is accessible from anywhere in the state at 888-260-2178.
“People who abuse animals in New Mexico will be prosecuted,” says the Attorney General. “This new hotline gives the public and law enforcement another tool as we work together to ensure compliance with animal protection laws.”
ACT member and spokesperson for Animal Protection of New Mexico, Heather Greenhood, says “Animal fighting is a scourge in our state and contributes to other forms of violent crime. We need all New Mexicans to report any activity that they believe to be connected with any form of animal fighting and help us make their communities safer places for all forms of life.”
Additionally, The Humane Society of the United States has offered a $5,000 reward to individuals whose information leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dog fighting. This information will be handled by the Animal Cruelty Taskforce and taken to the Humane Society for confirmation with law enforcement.
Animal Cruelty Task Force Announced
Today, the Attorney General’s Office has announced the introduction of the New Mexico Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT). The task force will help to enforce New Mexico’s animal cruelty laws, such as the ban on cockfighting taking effect on Friday June 15th, and will provide training for law enforcement, judiciaries, animal control and human agencies and investigators. ACT will develop public information campaigns to educate and involve the public, and will establish legislative proposals and guides for prosecutors and judges to facilitate successful prosecution of animal fighting cases. ACT will also create a protocol for management of seized animals in animal sheltering facilities.
The ACT Board is comprised of representatives from the state’s law enforcement agencies, Governor’s Office, state legislators, animal care departments, animal protection groups and local government officials. Members of this board include: Attorney General Gary King; Governor Bill Richardson; Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White; Senator Mary Jane Garcia; Representative Justine Fox-Young; Dr. Ray Powell; President of the New Mexico Animal Control Association, Andrew Jaramillo; Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez; Albuquerque Animal Care Director Denise Wilcox; Albuquerque Animal Care Captain Nina Bruce; Heather Greenhood of Animal Protection of New Mexico; the District Attorneys’ Association; the New Mexico State Police; and the New Mexico Sheriff’s and Police Association and others.
Goals of the Task Force:
1) To encourage cross reporting and communications among law enforcement departments, animal control officers and humane societies within the state
2) To hold a summit to provide training for law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, judges and animal care and control personnel
3) To strengthen animal fighting laws and support their enforcement
4) To educate the public about the cruelties and activities inherent in animal fighting
5) To create a network and protocol for animal facilities and personnel for management of seized animals, and to support those involved in the prosecution process