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"I don't recall ever seeing a more efficient and qualified crime scene team anywhere. It definitely made a difference in the outcome of the case." -Richard M. Shields, Prosecuting Attorney, Henry County, Missouri
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Rescuing Victims, Fighting Cruelty
Animals can find themselves in crisis as victims of animal abuse or due to natural disasters. The FIR team is ready to respond at a moment's notice to alleviate the suffering of animals, remove them from these situations and provide the care they need.
The FIR team is committed to ending animal abuse in all its forms. FIR works with law enforcement, federal, state and local jurisdictions to combat animal cruelty and neglect and rescue animals.
As the public becomes more aware of the heinous practice of dog fighting and other blood sports in the country, laws are tightening and reported cases are on the rise. The FIR team provides training and support from an investigation's inception through seizure and rescue to prosecution of the criminals.
Animal Neglect and Cruelty
Animal victims can be subjected to deliberate acts of cruelty like torture, mutilation or intentional killing of the animal. Acts of cruelty are not limited to physical abuse where animals are intentionally harmed. Neglect is another form of cruelty that can be devastating. Neglected animals often do not have access to appropriate food and water, shelter and regular veterinary care. The FIR team supports efforts to investigate animal crimes and rescue animals suffering from neglect and cruelty.
The FIR team is committed to shutting down puppy mills. Puppy mills are substandard breeding facilities where the health and well-being of the dogs is secondary to the profits made from the sale of their offspring. Rescued puppy mill dogs are given a chance to know love and comfort, and the FIR team works with local and federal law enforcement to help prosecute puppy mill breeders.
Animal hoarders have far more animals than they are capable of caring for. Some hoarders get their start as rescue groups or sanctuaries and quickly become overwhelmed, and the animals in their care often go without food, sheltering, sanitation and veterinary care. Animal hoarding is a complex and intricate issue with far-reaching effects that encompass mental health, animal welfare and public safety concerns. The FIR team is committed to working through the complicated processes of rescuing animals from hoarding situations and ensuring that hoarders do not begin collecting animals again.
In the last five years, there have been numerous examples of major destruction resulting from natural and man-made disasters. The ASPCA is committed to rescuing animals in need, helping care for displaced pets, reuniting families, and providing relief through grants and other services.
When Hurricane Katrina hit, the ASPCA was on the scene and remained for the long haul, aiding evacuation and providing funding and recovery expertise for months after the storm.
A devastating 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO, killed 150 people and destroyed homes and livelihoods. The ASPCA helped thousands of animals in the area and their families. That same year the Midwest and South were devastated by the worst outbreak of tornadoes in U.S. history. The ASPCA supplied shelters with support, pet food, crates, carriers, large fans, litter boxes and more.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. The Category 3 storm affected 24 states and caused widespread damage. The FIR team acted quickly, rescuing displaced pets and providing around-the-clock care for animals.
In 2013, the ASPCA responded to the Moore City tornado, providing sheltering support for the hundreds of animals and families displaced by the Oklahoma disaster.
In 2014, the ASPCA launched a special project initiative in addition to its current disaster work. This project aims to bolster preparedness and capacity building specifically in 10 Midwestern states (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas).