Funds forfeited from criminal activity to relieve taxpayers of cost of medical care and boarding for animals seized in criminal cases
MINEOLA, N.Y. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund, a nationwide organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters, recognized a new initiative recently announced by Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as a “compassionate choice” that the organization hopes “will serve as a model for other jurisdictions.”
“This is a good policy, pure and simple,” said Scott Heiser, director of ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program, in a piece posted on the ALDF website yesterday. “The money from these criminal enterprises will be allocated to help prosecutors serve justice to abusers and help other victims outside the district’s drug caseload.”
Acting DA Singas last month pledged to use asset forfeiture funds – the monetary proceeds derived from criminal cases of all kinds including drug and gun cases – to relieve taxpayers of the cost of the medical care, boarding, rehabilitation and rehoming of any animal seized by law enforcement in connection with animal cruelty prosecutions.
“Municipal taxpayers should not have to pay for the senseless and criminal acts of another,” Acting DA Singas wrote in a letter sent to municipal leaders, shelter directors and local police officials throughout Nassau County. “Rather than encumbering municipal funds for prolonged and costly veterinary and rehabilitative services, this pledge substitutes non-taxpayer forfeiture funds, alleviates all municipal burden, and allows the redistribution of money to primary services (rather than crisis services).”
More information about the initiative is available on the Nassau DA Website.
Acting DA Singas is also advocating for the passage of the Consolidated Animal Crimes Bill, which was authored by her office and first introduced in 2012 as part of her office’s ongoing efforts to protect animals and prosecute animal abuse cases.
In 2013, Acting DA Singas’ office started a Countywide ‘Council on Animal Protection & Safety’ in order to provide a forum for local government and non-profit agencies in Nassau County to coordinate on efforts to curtail and prosecute animal crimes.
Members of the public can report animal crimes directly to Acting DA Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit in four ways:
• By walking in to the DA’s Criminal Complaint Unit at 272 Old Country Road, Mineola, N.Y.• By calling the DA’s 24 hour Animal Crimes Tipline at (516) 571-7755• Via website complaint form at www.nassauda.org• Via email to AnimalCrimesUnit@nassauda.org
The public should always call 911 in cases of active emergencies or imminent danger.