aspca dogfighting toolkit community guide

Download ASPCA Dogfighting Toolkit Community Guide

Post on 08-May-2015




2 download

Embed Size (px)


  • 1.DogfightingtooL Kit for Law EnforcEmEntAddressing Dogfightingin Your Community Randall Lockwood, Ph.D.,Senior Vice President, Forensic Sciencesand Anti-cruelty Projects ASPCA

2. DogfightingcommunitY action guiDE Dogfighting: A Community ProblemDogfighting is a serious and violent crimebut it is more than thatit is a community prob-lem. A typical week in the life of an area where dogfighting goes on can help to illustrate howdogfighting affects many parts of the community. In the course of the week we might see thefollowing: Concerned citizens call 911 to report a noisy gathering in an alley. By the time policearrive they find only beer cans, cigarette butts, and a weak, injured dog. No one on thestreet in the area claims to have seen anything; The Sanitation Department reports finding two dead, scarred dogs in a ditch alongsidea road; The Housing Authority reports having to order the removal of several unauthorized dogsbeing kept at a public housing site after complaints from other residents about attacks onother pets; Animal Control reports picking up a growing number of loose or abandoned pit bulls,many of them apparently injured; The police Narcotics Unit reports finding several dogs and dogfighting paraphernalia inthe course of investigating a house associated with drug sales; School resource officers report a rise in incidence of high school students wearing clothingwith dogfighting themes and rumors of involvement in fight activity; 3. 58 Dogfighting Toolkit for Law Enforcement Child Protective Services, investigating a report of children at risk, finds a dozen pit bullschained to dog houses in the yard of a house in a rural area.These apparently isolated incidents add up to a PROBLEM, which demands a problem-oriented solution. Problem Oriented Policing looks upon a problem as the basic element ofpolice work, as opposed to an isolated incident, crime, case, or report. Problems are usuallydefined as something that concerns or causes harm to citizens, not just as a violation of alaw. Successfully addressing problems means more than quick fixes: it means dealing withconditions that create problems.Problems that affect the entire community are best addressed by approaches that involvethe resources of the entire community. A commonly used problem-solving method in policework is the SARA model (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment). This Guide willpresent suggestions for applying these methods to the problem of dogfighting in your com-munity. Who Will Start the Process?Recent studies in crime prevention have repeatedly demonstrated that strategic crime-con-trol partnerships with a range of third parties are more effective in disrupting drug prob-lems and other crimes than law enforcement-only approaches.1 Partnership programs thataddress specific target populations, such as older adults, have also proven to be effective.2The approach that has proven to be effective in a number of communities is to establish amulti-agency Task Force to deal with animal cruelty issues in general or to specifically ad-dress dogfighting. A Task Force approach is often what is needed when several conditionsare present: The problem involves multiple crimes that can be violations of laws at multiple levelslocal, state, and federal Many different aspects of community life are affected, including public safety, publichealth, housing, schools, parks, etc. Solutions will require the coordinated activity of agencies that may not have shared resources (e.g., police may have little animal handling experience and no resources foranimal housing), and animal control or humane groups usually lack arrest authority. 1. Mazerolle, Lorraine, David W. Soole and Sacha Roombouts. 2007. Crime Prevention Reviews No. 1: Disrupting Street-Level Drug Markets. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. 2. A good example is the establishment of SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Councils, as outlined by the National As- sociation of Triads, a program established by the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). For more information go to 4. Topic Header 59 All of the above conditions are usually found in communities where dogfighting is present. The process should begin at the highest possible level of authority to insure the greatest impact and continuity. Successful task forces have been started by Governors, Attorneys General, Mayors, and Chiefs of Police. Local groups have also been organized by animal care and control or humane organizations, with the endorsement of higher authorities. The objectives of the Task Force should include: Providing a setting for direct, regular contact between agencies and a diverse set of stakeholders; Providing a forum for stakeholders and agencies to understand the competing needs and requirements of the government and the affected communities; Providing a forum for discussing citizen issues and concerns, thus enabling the development of a more complete and satisfactory solution; Broadening consideration of issues to include differing values as well as facts; Providing a system for generating collaborative responses; Providing a framework for assessing outcomes and changing direction if necessary Whoever initiates the process should know there are several key steps in building an effec- tive collaboration:Step 1 Identifying the Stakeholders The first assignment for those responsible for organizing a Task Force should be to determine the groups or individuals who should be invited to participate. Since dogfighting affects so many elements of the community, the list of potential stakeholders is likely to be very large. Attempting to include all interested parties in all the activities of the group can be counter- productive. It is not necessary to include all stakeholders in all meetings and decision-making as long as all have an opportunity to voice their interests and concerns and are kept informed about the activities of the group. In general, representatives to the Task Force should be drawn from the highest levels of the agencies or organizations represented to make sure that there is the strongest possible support for the mission of the group.3 As noted above, this pro- cess should be initiated at the highest possible administrative level (Governor, Mayor, Chief of Police) to underscore the importance of the process. It is useful to structure the Task Force into Primary Stakeholders, who will serve as a steering committee for the activities of the group and participate in all meetings, and Advisory Stake- holders whose information, opinions, and advice will be integrated into task force planning. The Primary Stakeholders are those agencies or organizations that have direct and frequent exposure to the problem or are responsible for responding to public concerns and reports. Suggested Primary Stakeholders include: A representative from the agency that will have the primary authority for the Task Force, such as a representative from the Governors Office, the Office of Attorney General, the Mayors Office, City Council or the Chief of Police A representative from law enforcement agencies responsible for responding to dogfighting or animal cruelty. Several agencies may be representedPolice Department, Sheriffs Dept., State Police, etc.3. A good introduction to this process is provided in A Guide to Reducing Crime and Disorder through Problem Solving Partnerships.2006. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services 5. 60 Dogfighting Toolkit for Law Enforcement A representative from the local District Attorneys Office as well as the area U.S. Attorneys Office A representative from Probation, Parole, or Corrections A representative from Animal Care and Control or the local Humane Society/SPCA with responsibility for enforcement of cruelty laws and/or enforcement of dangerous dog laws A representative from local government (Mayors Office, City Council, Community Board, etc.) if not already the primary organizer A representative from local organizations involved in local crime prevention and response (Crimestoppers, Community Watch, etc.) A representative from the Health Department if it has responsibility for tracking dog bite issues in the community A representative from the local Housing Authority A representative of Code Enforcement A representative from the state or local Veterinary Medical Association, particularly if your state mandates veterinarians to report animal abuse or dogfighting One or more members from the community at large It can be useful if the Task Force makes use of an outside facilitator to keep the process moving smoothly. This person may be a representative from a local academic institution who may also identify local university resources to assist in gathering and analyzing data needed by the Task Force as well as assisting in the analysis of outcomes. Advisory Stakeholders represent agencies or organizations with occasional or peripheral exposure to the problem. They would also include groups that can play an important role in prevention and community education and action. These members should be invited to par- ticipate in one or more meetings specifically intended to get their input and should be kept informed about Task Force activities through a regular newsletter, list-serve, or emails. Suggested Advisory Stakeholders include: A representative of school resource officers from area schools or a school administrator involved in gang or other problem issues in the schools in the community A representative from the Department of Sanitation and/or a representative from the Highway Department who may be aware of reports of disposals of dead dogs from fight situations A representative from the Fire Department who may have informa


View more >