First Lawsuit Filed Against the NYPD for Not Enforcing Animal Cruelty Laws, Historical Original Argument as to Why Dogs and Cats Should Have Rights in a Court of Law and Why Animal Activists Have Standing to File

This petition was filed on Monday, March 9, 2015 at 60 Centre Street in New York, NY, by myself pro se, for “Jigs” AKA “Jake” the Rottweiler-breed-type dog harbored in an industrial lot in Staten Island, NY.  I do think that my petition does ring of an original argument for dog and cat rights, as well as standing, and justice should prevail.  There could have been a lot more bells and whistles such as additional expert testimony, additional photographs labeled properly, videotape from the scene of the cruelty, and scholarly works.  I could have performed interviews with elected officials and other individuals that live in the area and work in those industrial lots.  I have valid excuses but the most valid of all is lack of funding.  When finances, food and gas for the car are issues, filing my first lawsuit for an animal was almost impossible.  I attempted to explain to one of the donators some of the obstacles I face and all I was met with was repetitive threats to stop payment on the checks – but guess what?  It was a slap in the face I needed to stop whining and file, which I did, and maybe enough was said?  Maybe, just maybe, all of that extra information and testimony is unnecessary.  There is substantial evidence that the dog was abused, the owner of the dog should be arrested and the NYPD should have arrested him.  So maybe keeping it this simple was more efficient.

So the lawsuit is filed with only two affidavits and one article describing that the NYPD took over jurisdiction in animal cruelty from the ASPCA in January 2014, as well as of course, my petition with my original argument for dog and cat rights that has never been argued in a court of law before.  I am hoping that the judge in their great wisdom and common sense will compel the NYPD to make an arrest for the individual who kept this dog in these conditions in the winter of 2014-15 outside with no shelter or water, and with a postoperative open wound in deep snow and subzero conditions.

For those not apprised, please allow me to cut-to-the-chase for you and assuage your concern that the dog Jake is miraculously alive, thank goodness.  Please allow me to now tell the story of Jake (as some of us called him but would later come to know that his owner might have been calling him Jigs).  It is a story that animal rescuers know all too well these past couple years.  I was one of the first individuals to proclaim from the mountaintop in NY state several years ago on Facebook that these conditions were illegal and I received requests from rescuers to outline the legalities to which I replied,

  • The doghouse must be off the ground.
  • The doghouse must be insulated which allows the inside to be cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • The doghouse must have a flap so as to allow the inside to be 20 degrees warmer in winter and keep out those freezing drafts.
  • The doghouse must be big enough to accommodate their entire body so as to permit the dog to stand up and turn around.
  • There must be water 24/7, therefore in winter, a heated water source.

Jake was/is kept in between two truck containers with jimmied-up fencing.  The site of the living conditions will make you cry.  For us in animal rescue and animal rights activists in general it is akin to an infant in a garbage dump.  We hold animals in the regard of the expression of the divine therefore the conditions of the dog Jake were unholy and demonic.  For those that would replace the word divine for universe, the conditions are simply unhealthy and life-threatening to a helpless innocent defenseless animal.

Sometime at the end of last summer 2014, an activist was feeding her cat colony and the dog Jake was discovered.  Several more activists would become aware of the dog and they would feed and water the dog.  They were unable to get into the enclosure to pick of feces and used paper plates of the little food that was provided.  The dog was always desperate for attention, dying of thirst, thin and hungry.  Months would go by and the winter was setting in.  I would first come to know about Jake on a night that it would become zero degrees.  I asked a few people who we could find to get to that location that night and a car of young ladies sped out to the location.  The location of 79 Storer Avenue in Staten Island, NY, was pitch black.  The young ladies arrived but were scared and left as soon as they arrived.  One young lady returned and the first video was produced.  She could see nothing but only hear the dog barking.  We spoke on the phone in the video, the helplessness and devastation was palpable in our voices.  We called “the police.”  The police precinct that would be called is #123.  The video was posted and our 10,000 member group jammed up the phone lines for days and days starting at about the end of December 2014 for the next month until January 24, 2015.  We suffered nightmares every night.  The police dispatcher and sergeants were frustrated.  I informed them that I was the one who released the action alert to our 10,000 member group to call and write emails and beg and plead that the dog Jake be removed and that the owner be arrested.  Of course our efforts would be to no avail.  Day after day we called in utter confusion and day after day we were met with an even more confused law enforcement agency.  I received photos of the dog Jake in a cone in a postoperative state.  Apparently the dog was in some sort of “anti cruelty program” with the ASPCA.  Talk about double-speak!  It would become known that the dog had been operated upon for a mass in possibly a limb and placed outside in subzero conditions with a cone on his head that he could not even reach water even if it were not frozen!  The NYPD Precinct #123 looked to the ASPCA like their mommy.  “Well if mommy says it is okay, then I guess it is okay” was the bizarre mind-numbing message.

In the action alert I issued, I informed everyone to remind the #123 of the Ag and Markets law regarding animal cruelty and doghouses.  So the precinct could not say that they were not familiar with the law.  Surely it is written plainly.  And as I state in my argument in this petition, if it looks like cruelty, it smells like cruelty, it feels like cruelty, its cruelty.  At the end of the day for pete’s sake, common sense should have prevailed for this dog.  Sure the dog has a “double-coat” but does that not amount to a human wearing a sweater and coat?  Doesn’t that add up to a dog that is still freezing to death with no water?  Does this not add up to possible frostbite and consequent possible gangrene?  Does this not amount to severe dehydration and hypothermia? Does this not amount to a dog lonely, thirsty, hungry and freezing to death?  This is pure common sense and at the end of the day, law reflects common sense or should.

But let us review what gets in the way of common sense with regard to cruelty to animals:

  • One of the most important aspects of an investigation is not only to come to know the individuals (“players”) involved but become them, embody them. Who are the people involved?  Who do they know?  How much money do the people have? What is the general feeling/culture of the area?  If the “owner” of the dog knows someone that could “pull some strings” – keep him from being arrested, ensuring that he is “untouchable” with regard to an arrest, this will be a huge factor in the why of a lack of an arrest or a complete acquittal after a court hearing.  After all, we see such circumstances in human murder cases, rape cases, child abuse cases so why wouldn’t we see this type of corruption in animal abuse cases?  Of course we will.
  • So now we know the people involved and we have contemplated who they know, i.e, are connected to. Now let’s examine the possibility that they have an “anti-animal agenda.”   Since we are discussing a dog, who could be against a dog having rights in a court of law?  Well, allow me to answer that – a lot of people.  A lot of rich and powerful people.  People that have a vested interest in animals in general not having rights in a court of law.  People who wish to retain the right to kill dogs such as shelter insiders who feel that they “cannot save them all” – who wish to continue to perpetrate propaganda that it’s necessary to kill a dog or cat to maintain the world order.  People who feel that the laws of cruelty do not apply to them such as veterinarians, shelter directors and “euth techs” perpetrating heinous acts of gassing, heart stick, intraperitoneal stick, etc.  And then those that enable them such as their nepotistic families and friends who got them those jobs and contracts, and on a larger scale breeders, as well as agriculture and pharmaceutical concerns.  These will be the individuals that will suppress legislation, enforcement and adjudication of animal cruelty laws.
  • We must also consider that there could be a psychological component to the resistance of enforcing animal cruelty laws. Imagine the arrogance of an animal rights activist demanding that a law be enforced and a dog’s life be saved (sarcasm intended)!  Imagine the temerity of a tax payer and animal lover demanding that the police department do their job!  Could there have been “ego” involved?  Could it have been that activists demanded anything from a law enforcement agency that it would be automatically denied because law enforcement is not accustomed to such a bold action as to demand justice for a dog?

And could any of this apply to Jake and Precinct #123 in NY?  Maybe some of it but not all of it is applicable.  There were no shelter insiders involved and Big Pharmaceutical was nowhere in sight.  Just Jake freezing out in the cold with a big bad “oweee” and no blanket, no treats, no stuffed animal to rest his head – just a police department shrugging their shoulders and the ASPCA with business as usual not enforcing or advocating for animal cruelty laws in NYC.

What tends to happen with hypothermia is unconsciousness.  How many times have we seen dogs and cats out and about in freezing conditions with the look of utter confusion and vacancy? Delirium sets in.  Just like the biggest danger in swimming across a mighty river is not the current or exhaustion, it’s the freezing water that will render your body halted in its tracks.  If one can imagine the dog freezing and imagine being in his mind, one could imagine that as he fell asleep in a hypothermic state that not waking up would be welcome.  We can imagine that opening our eyes to the pain of thirst and hunger with consequent joint pain and headaches would be unwelcome.  In this type of suffering delirium, humans have described a light that they reach for with earnest.  How many times have we seen that suffering animal let go?  How many times have we stood over that cat or dog and whispered into their ear as they left this earth that we loved them but Jake and sooooooo many others would not have that except for the activists that stood at his fence and told him how beautiful he is and how much he is loved.  Can we imagine a political prisoner with someone sneaking in a highly coveted extra slice of bread?  That would be the glimmer of hope that keeps a sentient being alive, that all living creatures instinctively beg for from the universe, to keep living and breathing and experiencing love from family and community.

All living animals seek community from other animals but dogs in particular are pack animals.  Their lives are other-centered.  To leave a dog in desperately lonely conditions was cruel enough but the law does not reflect that socialization is imperative for their psychological well-being.  Knowing that dogs thrive on that connection with other dogs and people is to know how paramount it was that our activist community was there for him.  We can go beyond the physical and hope and pray that psychically perhaps that Jake knew somehow that are lives were centered around his well-being and waited for the people to return to him and waited and kept himself alive in those below-zero conditions with no water for days and nights on end.

At one point, I was informed that the owner of the dog Jake removed Jake from that location.  There was some scuffle in the early days as to who owned the dog and who owned the industrial yard.  Originally we set about a protest that would be both at the industrial yard where Jake was harbored and then we would continue the protest at Precinct #123.  I was informed that if I continued the protest to occur at the industrial yard, the dog would not be returned and I was informed that the owner stated that the dog was in even more cruel conditions than the industrial yard.  I cancelled the protest at the industrial yard and the agreement would be that the dog would be returned to the industrial yard.  The dog was returned to that location when I posted out that the protest would only be at the Precinct.

So I made a date for a protest at the #123 Precinct in Staten Island.  My three-prong strategy for animal rights in our lifetime is massive protest (such as has never been seen in this country before), legal action and political advocacy.  We at New York Animal Rights Alliance America have been protesting against the killing of cats and dogs in the pound system across the country for several years now.  Finally our 501(c)3 was set up.  Our fourth national/international protest is pending on September 19, 2015 with the main protest at 110th Street at New York Animal Care & Control.  Our protest at City Hall in 2014 was the biggest protest for animal rights in recent NYC history with upwards of 300 activists.  We were as a group still calling #123 every day.  Another couple activists went to the location and took another video which I also released on our nonprofit page, No Kill New York, Inc. on Facebook.  We released the photos that were provided on our page.  I made a graphic poster calling for donations toward the filing fees for a lawsuit and we were set for Saturday, January 24, 2015 to protest at the precinct.  About twenty amazing activists showed up on an incredibly cold and blustery day.  We were mentioned and shown to be chanting at Precinct #123 on a Staten Island news agency.

Now it was time to collect donations for the lawsuit to be filed and get the petition finalized.  Unfortunately for Jake, the days that followed January 24, 2015 continued to be subzero conditions.  We continued to call #123 and request that they check in on the dog.  The doghouse was adequate and apparently had a heat source that needed to be plugged in.  But could we trust a perpetrator of animal abuse such as we have seen to plug in a heat source every day and night in these freezing cold temperatures and deep snow?  The police arrived at that location but in the pitch black of night the dog could not be seen.  A new fencing now obstructed the back of the industrial area so that activists could no longer provide the dog with water or even see or touch the dog to pet his head and let him lick their hands.  And if the dog jumped over the fence to greet the police which Jake was able to do, he would then be loose in the yard and then unable to return to his doghouse.  We hoped for the best and prepared for the worst.  With all the high profile attention to the dog we stated to #123 that the dog could still perish if not checked upon.  The last visit to the industrial yard on about February 24, 2015 with our activists brought an elected official by request to be briefed on the matter.

My contention is that none of this will be resolved in New York City or anywhere unless it reaches a court of law.  Hence the lawsuit filed.  We wish for nothing less than the owner of Jake to be arrested for his crimes against an innocent defenseless dog, causing that dog to suffer immeasurably in freezing cold conditions over a long protracted period of time this past winter.  He must answer for this crime perpetrated upon this dog in a court of law to a jury of his peers.  What could be the excuse?  The owner has explained that he purchased the dog for thousands of dollars.  In my experience it is exactly the owner who purchases a dog or cat that is more likely to abuse that animal than an adopter.  The dog is obviously not protecting the industrial yard.  The dog is not dangerous and has no history of bite and is friendly and sweet.  Surely an alarm and camera system with infrared would be more effective in safeguarding the yard than a tortured and health-compromised sweet dog.  And when criminals are cognizant of the fact that only a dog guards a property, they will disable the dog (innumerable cases on record).

After the judge compels Precinct #123 to arrest this abuser and Commissioner Bratton assures the animal-loving community that animal abuse laws will be enforced, what next?  My suggestion is that it be completely illegal to harbor animals in outside conditions without supervision.  If the animal is accessible to the public in any manner including throwing poison over a fence or through a fence to kill or hurt a dog or cat, then the animal is unsupervised.  The law currently does proscribe a viable doghouse such as is described herein but the law does not address the psychological damage to an animal left unsocialized for hours, days, weeks and months at a time (although the anti-tethering law does address this concern and cruelty).  When an animal is unsupervised outside, the possibility of neglect of sustenance (food, water, shelter, vetting) then exists.  If an individual is unable to supervise their animal in an outside condition, then they should not be harboring that animal.

We are now up against the NYPD/city attorney who will ostensibly fight this petition from resulting in compelling Precinct #123 to make an arrest.  Other such rare cases outside of New York City have resulted in judges stating that enforcement of the law is at the discretion of the law enforcement agency.  In my heart, I do not believe that that could be pulled off in New York City.  Imagine telling a New Yorker in our city that the cops will do as they please even if it means that a dog dies in illegal conditions?  I think not.  I have to have faith in the justice system that common sense will prevail as I (if I may say) historically and originally argue that a dog and cat fall somewhere between a stereo and a child according to the law.  Therefore any citizen will have standing in a court of law to petition the court to act on their behalf.  Therefore a dog or cat when killed is not just broken like a stereo but dead and no longer living such a child’s condition would be if they were killed.  That unlike “property” such as a stereo, a dog and cat have eyes, ears, nose, throat, organs, and bodily functions with lives that are protected by law with a felony or a misdemeanor if violated.  Therefore we have standing to report abuse of dogs and cats in a court of law just as we would for a child.  Let the judicial system and the enforcement agency reflect what our elected officials have codified – that to hurt a dog or cat is against the law, whether it be in the shelter system, in a veterinarian’s office, in a laboratory, in a breeding facility, in a house, in a backyard, in a shed, or an industrial yard, whether it be filed and/or reported by an attorney or any taxpayer or any struggling activist/rescuer with their last dime and last drop of blood, sweat and tears.

So let the new animal rights movement begin!  No other organization has sought to revolutionize the rights of animals through the rights of cats and dogs in a court of law.  This was not a strategy methodically employed on my part.  It was a natural course of events.  We believe that the movement for all animals in a court of law will be invigorated if the rights of cats and dogs can be magnified to a level never seen before, nothing less than to the level of children.

The following is the lawsuit filed against the NYPD for not enforcing animal cruelty laws for Jake:

At a Motion Term IAS Part of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, located at the New York City Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY on the 7 day of March 2015, 2 PM.

Present: Hon.                 ______JSC__x

Kathryn Riviello, as President of

No Kill New York, Inc.

and ex rel, the abused dog “Jigs” AKA “Jake”

held by  (redacted), at his place of

business at 79 Storer Street, Staten Island,

NY

Josephine Castiglia-Dowd

Rosemarie Guele

Petitioners                                          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

-against-

Index No.  100399/15

Commissioner Bratton of the

New York Police Department, Precinct #123

and (redacted), as the owner of

the abused dog, “Jigs” AKA “Jake”

Respondents,

For an Order pursuant to Article 78

Of the Civil PracticeLaw and Rules

____________________________________________x

UPON READING AND FILING the annexed petition of Kathryn Riviello as President of No Kill New York, Inc., 501(c)3 and ex rel the abused dog “Jigs” AKA “Jake” harbored by (Redacted) at industrial location 79 Storer Avenue, Staten Island, NY, and Josephine Castiglia-Dowd, Rosemarie Guele, duly verified the day of March 7, 2015, together with the Affidavits annexed hereto, and upon all of the other papers and proceedings heretobefore had herein.

LET THE RESPONDENTS SHOW CAUSE at a Motion Term, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Manhattan, located at the New York Supreme  Court, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY 10601, on the 7th day of March 2015 at 2 in the forenoon of that day or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard why an order should not be made and entered pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR directing Respondents to change its present policy of refusing to properly investigate complaints of animal cruelty in accordance with §371 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and to issue summonses on complaints of animal cruelty and refusing to arrest offenders engaged in any violations of Article 26 & 26A of the Agricultural and Markets Law, and directing Respondents to adopt a new policy of arresting and/or issuing summonses to persons engaged in violations of Article 26 & 26A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, as required by § 371 of the Agriculture & Markets Law, as well as issuing a warrant pursuant to § 372 of the Agriculture & Markets Law a pursuant to § 373 of the Agriculture & Markets Law and providing such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper, and it is

ORDERED that pending the hearing and determination of this motion the Respondents are hereby required to take all reasonable steps to issue warrants and/or summonses to direct Redacted owner of “Jigs” AKA “Jake” abused dog to be held accountable for violation of § 353-b pursuant to § 373 of the Agriculture & Markets Law for violations including improper housing and improper sustenance such as food and nonexistent water in subzero temperatures.

SUFFICIENT CAUSE APPEARING THEREFORE, let service of a copy of this Order together with the papers upon which it was granted upon the office of Commissioner Bratton and NYPD Precinct #123, herein and upon the Respondent Redacted be deemed good and sufficient service within ten days of receipt of index number.

Dated: March 7, 2014

E N T E R :

__________________________________________

Hon.                                                                J.S.C.

____________________________________________________________________________________

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT

COUNTY OF NEW YORK________________x

Kathryn Riviello, President of

No Kill New York, Inc.

and ex rel the abused dog “Jigs” AKA “Jake”

harbored by (redacted),

at 79 Storer Avenue, Staten Island, NY, and

Josephine Castiglia-Dowd

Rosemarie Guele

Petitioners                                          PETITION

-against-

Index No.

Commissioner Bratton, NYPD,

Precinct #123 NYPD, and

(redacted) as the owner of

the abused dog and an interested party

Respondents,

for an Order pursuant to Article 78

of the Civil Practice Law and Rules

___________________________________________x

The Verified Petition of Kathryn Riviello, as President of No Kill New York, Inc., 501(c)3, and ex rel “Jigs” AKA “Jake” (harbored by (redacted) at industrial property 79 Storer Avenue, Staten Island, NY), Josephine Castiglia-Dowd and Rosemarie Guele, respectfully allege:

  1. Petitioner, Kathryn Riviello, (hereinafter “Petitioner Riviello”) is the President of No Kill New York, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charitable not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York with official address at 680 Rt 211 E, #3B-234, Middletown, NY 10941, whose purpose is to defend and protect dogs and cats, and to represent and, when necessary, litigate and defend legal claims on behalf of dogs and cats and other animals.
  2. Petitioner, Josephine Castiglia-Dowd, (hereinafter “Petitioner Castiglia-Dowd”) is a resident and taxpayer of the County of Richmond, State of New York, and;
  3. Petitioner, Rosemarie Guele (hereinafter “Petitioner Guele”) is a resident and taxpayer of the County of Richmond, State of New York, and;
  4. Further, petitioners are animal lovers who are attached to “Jigs” AKA “Jake” having called every day for 40 days for the dog’s well being in the freezing sub-zero temperatures of the winter of 2014-15, particularly from December 1, 2014 to January 24, 2015; providing sustenance such as food and water since sustenance was not in any way provided per their affidavits and evidence of the circumstances of events that transpired.
  5. Seeing the inhumane treatment of “Jigs” AKA “Jake” having caused great distress and consternation, thereby giving standing in this matter, pursuant to (Jurnove v. Lawrence, 38 AD3d 895, [2nd 2007.])  See also a discussion of “standing” with regarding to dogs at the end of this petition herein.
  6. Respondent, Commissioner Bratton (hereinafter “Respondent Bratton”) is the Commissioner of the NYPD,
  7. Respondent, Precinct #123 (hereinafter “Precinct #123”) is a precinct of the NYPD in the area of the County of Richmond where the industrial area is that the abused dog is harbored.
  8. NYPD is charged with enforcing the criminal, traffic and animal protection laws of the State of New York and of the County of Richmond.
  9. Respondent (redacted) is a business resident of the County of Richmond, State of New York and the owner of the abused dog “Jigs” AKA “Jake” held at 79 Storer Avenue, Staten Island, NY. Biassi is an interested party.
  10. As can be seen from the affidavit in support of the petition by Josephine Castiglia-Dowd, annexed hereto as Exhibit A, the abused dog is a Rottweiler-breed-type dog.
  11. Whether the abused dog is licensed and properly vaccinated is unknown to petitioners during the time of December 1, 2014 to the present.
  12. As all citizens of the State of NY, Mr. Biassi is subject to the requirements of § Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law pertaining to Minimum Standards of animal care.
  13. 353-b of the Agricultural and Markets Laws pertains to the laws relating to adequate shelter.
  14. 353 of the Agricultural and Markets Laws pertains to failing to provide proper sustenance in the form of shelter and water (that is not frozen) to animals, as well as furthering an act of cruelty towards an animal.
  15. Importantly, the separate sections of the Agricultural and Markets Law often run in conjunction with one another from a charging standpoint, and in no way are mutually exclusive of one another.
  1. The two requisite sections read as follows.
  • 353-b. Appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors:
  1. For purposes of this section:

(a) “Physical condition” shall include any special medical needs of a dog due to disease, illness, injury, age or breed about which the owner or person with custody or control of the dog should reasonably be aware.
(b) “Inclement weather” shall mean weather conditions that are likely to adversely affect the health or safety of the dog, including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme heat and cold.

(c) “Dogs that are left outdoors” shall mean dogs that are outdoors in inclement weather without ready access to, or the ability to enter, a house, apartment building, office building, or any other permanent structure that complies with the standards enumerated in paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section.

  1. (a) Any person who owns or has custody or control of a dog that is left outdoors shall provide it with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition and the climate. Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for a first offense, and a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for a second and subsequent offense. Beginning seventy-two hours after a charge of violating this section, each day that a defendant fails to correct the deficiencies in the dog shelter for a dog that he or she owns or that is in his or her custody or control and that is left outdoors, so as to bring it into compliance with the provisions of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) The court may, in its discretion, reduce the amount of any fine imposed for a violation of this section by the amount which the defendant proves he or she has spent providing a dog shelter or repairing an existing dog shelter so that it complies with the requirements of this section. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the seizure of a dog for a violation of this section pursuant to the authority granted in this article.

(3) Minimum standards for determining whether shelter is appropriate to a dog’s breed, physical condition and the climate shall include:

(a) For dogs that are restrained in any manner outdoors, shade by natural or artificial means to protect the dog from direct sunlight at all times when exposure to sunlight is likely to threaten the health of the dog.

(b) For all dogs that are left outdoors in inclement weather, a housing facility, which must: (1) have a waterproof roof; (2) be structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climatic conditions and sufficient to protect the dog from inclement weather; (3) be constructed to allow each dog adequate freedom of movement to make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down with its limbs outstretched; and (4) allow for effective removal of excretions, other waste material; dirt and trash. The housing facility and the area immediately surrounding it shall be regularly cleaned to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment and to minimize health hazards.

4. Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the appearance of the housing facility itself, including but not limited to, size, structural soundness, evidence of crowding within the housing facility, healthful environment in the area immediately surrounding such facility, or by the appearance or physical condition of the dog.

5. Upon a finding of any violation of this section, any dog or dogs seized pursuant to the provisions of this article that have not been voluntarily surrendered by the owner or custodian or forfeited pursuant to court order shall be returned to the owner or custodian only upon proof that appropriate shelter as required by this section is being provided.

6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any protections afforded to dogs or other animals under any other provisions of this article.

§ 353: Overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance:

A person  who  overdrives,  overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates  or  kills  any animal,  whether  wild  or  tame, and whether belonging to himself or to another, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or  drink, or  neglects  or  refuses  to  furnish  it  such sustenance or drink, or causes, procures or permits any animal  to  be  overdriven,  overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjustifiably injured, maimed, mutilated or killed,  or  to  be deprived of necessary food or drink, or who willfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act  of cruelty  to  any  animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and for purposes  of  paragraph  (b)  of subdivision  one  of section 160.10 of the criminal procedure law, shall be treated as a misdemeanor defined in the penal law.

17.  Cruelty is defined pursuant to § 350 of the Agricultural and Markets Laws as or “cruelty” include every act, omission, or neglect, whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted.

  1. Upon information and belief based upon my own observations of photos and reports from others who have been to the premises, the abused dog did not have an adequate doghouse, did not have adequate source of water and was not fed regularly until a doghouse was provided by volunteers on or about January 24, 2015. This is corroborated by the observations of Petitioners Castiglia-Dowd and Guele as well.
  2. Petitioners Castiglia-Dowd and Guele who live in close proximity to the industrial yard where the dog is harbored state that the abused dog is always outside and never inside, based upon their extensive observations of the dog over a period of the year 2014.
  3. Therefore, this abused dog is a “dog left outdoors,” pursuant to Section 353-b(c) of the Agricultural and Markets Chapter of New York State Law. Though the law is not specific with regard to a “dog left outdoors” harbored at a private residence versus an industrial yard, we respectfully request that your Honor address the furtherance of cruelty of leaving dogs unsupervised 24 hours a day, seven days per week, in an industrial yard in subzero temperatures and compel the NYPD to issue summonses/arrests to Mr. Biassi and that particular lack of supervision is addressed in a court of law and be held accountable.
  4. Dehydration is more crucial in cold weather because it forms a barrier between the elements and the inner body of the dog. This is called thermo-regulation and without drinkable water in freezing conditions particularly from December 1, 2014 to January 24, 2015 the dog was susceptible to dehydration, hypothermia and frostbite.  Although an alleged heat source was provided after January 24, 2015, at no time did the NYPD check the viability of electrical supply to that heat source so as to provide conditions in compliance with proper shelter and water 24/7 as noted to be proper sustenance according to the Agriculture & Markets Law.
  5. Although Rottweilers have a double coat, their ability to thermo-regulate is dependent upon a consistent water source which is mandated by law as “sustenance.” Furthermore, regardless of the double coat, an insulated doghouse is only able to provide 20 degrees warmer conditions and when subzero temperatures exist, the temperature for the dog would still be below freezing, which is improper shelter.  We maintain that all dogs regardless of breed, according to the Agriculture and Markets law, must be harbored at temperatures at least from 32 degrees and above, which is the consensus among all animal veterinary professionals.  Furthermore, “Jigs” AKA “Jake” was harbored in subzero conditions without proper shelter whatsoever and with postoperative condition of a mass having been removed by the ASPCA.  The abused dog maintained a “cone” or Elizabethian collar so as to prevent the dog from reaching water had it even existed, which it did not from at least December 1, 2014 to January 24, 2015.
  6. Furthermore, this abused dog “Jigs” AKA “Jake” recently underwent a surgical procedure by the offices of the ASPCA. The dog was witnessed to be in the sub freezing temperatures, with an open wound, and cone over his head such as to negate the ability for the dog to drink water even if it was available, which it was not according to affidavits attached as Exhibits.
  7. Furthermore, the inability to sustain a cold climate is amplified when a dog does not have complete control of his ambulatory movements. The doghouse provided to the abused dog named herein necessitated that one of the dog’s limbs had to “hang out” of the doghouse at all times.  The size of the doghouse did not meet the criteria for conformation to the law set forth as noted above.  There is no flap as to maintain subzero temperatures from invading the inner part of the doghouse.
  8. The (sampling from one source) temperatures from January 1, 2015 to January 24, 2015 were as follows at night:
High High Low PrecipSnow Forecast Avg. Hi Avg. Lo
Thu
1/1/2015
39° 27° 0 in 0 in 39° 28°
Fri
1/2/2015
42° 35° 0 in 0 in 39° 28°
Sat
1/3/2015
42° 33° 0.71 in 0 in 39° 28°
Sun
1/4/2015
56° 41° 0.30 in 0 in 38° 27°
Mon
1/5/2015
49° 21° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Tue
1/6/2015
22° 19° 0.05 in 0.5 in 38° 27°
Wed
1/7/2015
23° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Thu
1/8/2015
21° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Fri
1/9/2015
33° 19° 0.07 in 1.5 in 38° 27°
Sat
1/10/2015
23° 16° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Sun
1/11/2015
37° 18° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Mon
1/12/2015
39° 35° 0.36 in 0 in 38° 27°
Tue
1/13/2015
36° 17° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Wed
1/14/2015
32° 16° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Thu
1/15/2015
35° 25° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Fri
1/16/2015
43° 20° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Sat
1/17/2015
32° 17° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Sun
1/18/2015
42° 31° 2.10 in 0 in 38° 26°
Mon
1/19/2015
42° 36° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Tue
1/20/2015
40° 32° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Wed
1/21/2015
36° 25° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Thu
1/22/2015
40° 31° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Fri
1/23/2015
39° 28° 0 in 0 in 38° 27°
Sat
1/24/2015
39° 33° 0.72 in 2.5 in 38° 27°
  1. 2015 – Coldest February (23.9 F) since 1934 (19.9 F), coldest month since Jan 1977 (22.0 F) – Furthermore February was the coldest month on record since 1934 and no direct supervision of the abused dog was conducted , though there was an alleged heat source, no extra precautions were taken from January 24, 2015 to February 24, 2015 to ensure that the abused dog was in compliance with proper temperatures that are at freezing or above.

27.  Further, the two affidavits provided  are consistent and supplement one another to the obvious inference that the abused dog was being deprived of proper sustenance in the form of shelter and water, pursuant to People v. Richardson, 2007 NY Slip Op 50934, [2nd Dept. 2007.])

  1. It was stated by the NYPD at Precinct #123 that the abused dog was in a “anti-cruelty program” at ASPCA and was afforded a surgery which removed a mass from his leg. Thereby establishing that the dog was in compromised health postoperatively with an open gaping wound exposing the dog to severe infection in the week preceeding January 24, 2015, also per the Affidavits attached.

29.  Further, it is established that the dog was in a compromised health status when exposed to sub-freezing temperatures and no water source. Providing medical care falls under the umbrella of providing an animal with proper sustenance pursuant to People v. O’Rourke, 83 Misc.2d 175, [City Court, Criminal Court 1975.])  Given that Precinct #123 and the ASPCA were privy to the fact that the dog was postoperative, in a compromised health condition, outside in subfreezing temperatures without a water source, obviously they themselves are guilty of depriving “Jigs” AKA “Jake” of proper sustenance and proper follow-up postoperatitve care, pursuant to § 353 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

  1. At all times relevant hereto, § 371 of the Agriculture and Markets Law provides that an NYPD officer must issue an appearance ticket or summons, or arrest any offender who commits a violation of any of the provisions of Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
  2. Despite § 371 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, Respondents adopted a policy of not detailing properly trained personnel to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and not making arrests in cases of animal cruelty. The policy called for Respondents to “refer” all animal abuse cases to non-governmental group which has frequently failed to act on complaints of animal abuse (the ASPCA who had no jurisdiction since January 2014).
  3. Regardless as to whether there was any room for ambiguity as to whether (redacted) was in violation of the animal cruelty statutes between the dates of December 1, 2014 and January 24, 2015, there is not now any ambiguity given the fact that a doghouse was publicly provided by a private group to the abuser on the news channel NY1 Staten Island.
  4. It should be noted that all statements were provided to Precinct #123 and the Commissioner’s Headquarters with the hopes that law enforcement would fulfill their duties pursuant to Section 371 of the Agricultural and Markets Laws. In fact, our social media group logged in hundreds of phone calls to the Precinct #123 to report cruelty to the abused dog, without the dog being removed and without a summons and/or arrest warrant issued to Mr. Redacted.
  5. Instead, Precinct #123 deferred their responsibility to a private agency with no jurisdiction that of ASPCA who chose not to address any of the factual elements of any of the eyewitness accounts provided to Precinct #123 NYPD.
  6. This Petition respectfully requests the Court to grant an Order: [1] Directing Respondents to arrest or issue summonses to Redacted, as described in the paragraphs below who was in violation of Article 26 of the Agriculture and Marketing Act, and all other offenders violating Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Act; now and in the future; [2] Directing Respondents to cease and desist from adhering to its present policy of refusing to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and refusing to arrest offenders engaged in cruelty to animals; and [3] in all respects to comply with the provisions of § 371 of the Agriculture and Markets Act..
  7. This Petition also requests that the Court direct Respondents to act on all current and future complaints of violations of Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law in accordance with the requirements of § 371.
  8. This Petition is based on § 371 of the Agriculture and Markets Law which mandates action by the NYPD since January 2014 in animal neglect and cruelty cases which could result in misdemeanor and/or felony prosecutorial charges. That statutory command pertains regardless of the existence or non-existence, effectiveness or lack of effectiveness, of any other organization.
  9. As a resident and taxpayer, Petitioners have standing to litigate the Respondent’s refusal to act on complaints of animal abuse. (See also discussion of standing at the end of this petition herein.)
  10. As an organization chartered pursuant to § 402 of the Not For Profit Corporation Law to promote animal welfare, the Respondents’ ongoing refusal to take any action on animal complaints, has prevented Petitioner Kathryn F. Riviello, No Kill New York, Inc., from effectively carrying out the mission set forth in the 501(c)3 organization’s charter, thereby giving all Petitioners standing to bring this Petition as aggrieved parties who have suffered an actual injury.
  11. Petitioners Riviello, Castiglio-Dowd and Guele have demonstrated many years of time and dedication to the rescue and advocacy for animals. Each has empathy for the suffering of animals. When they observe animals in distress, as for example the dog held herein with no shelter, and animals with no food and no water, and the police take no action, the resulting continued suffering of the animals causes Petitioners to suffer depression and excruciating emotional and psychological pain; – pain which is as acute as any physical pain.
  12. A proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 in the nature of mandamus is an appropriate vehicle by which “to compel acts that officials are duty-bound to perform, regardless of whether they may exercise their discretion in doing so” (see Klostermann v. Cuomo(), 61 N.Y.2d 525, 540, 475 N.Y.S.2d 247, 463 N.E.2d 588).
  13. Thus, while the courts will not interfere with the exercise by law enforcement officials of their broad discretion to allocate resources and devise enforcement strategies, mandamus will lie if they have abdicated their responsibilities by failing to discharge them, whatever their motive may be (see Matter of Boung Jae Jang v. Brown, 161 A.D.2d 49, 560 N.Y.S.2d 307).
  14. Here, the respondents are under a duty to enforce Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law (see Agriculture and Markets Law § 371). Hence, the Court (Appellate Division, Second Department) ruled in a virtually identical case (See Jurnove v. Lawrence, 38 A.D.3d 895, 832 N.Y.S.2d 655) that petitioners have stated a cause of action sounding in mandamus to compel.
  15. 372 of Article 26 of the Agriculture & Markets Law provides:
  • 372. Issuance of warrants upon complaint

Upon complaint under oath or affirmation to any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases, that the complainant has just and reasonable cause to suspect that any of the provisions of law relating to or in any wise affecting animals are being or about to be violated in any particular building or place, such magistrate shall immediately issue and deliver a warrant to any person authorized by law to make arrests for such offenses, authorizing him to enter and search such building or place, and to arrest any person there present found violating any of said laws, and to bring such person before the nearest magistrate of competent jurisdiction, to be dealt with according to law.

  1. 373 of Article 26 of the Agriculture & Markets Law provides:
  • 373. Seizure of animals lost, strayed, homeless, abandoned or improperly confined or kept
  1. Any police officer or agent or officer of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, may lawfully take possession of any lost, strayed, homeless or abandoned animal found in any street, road or other public place.

1-a. Any police officer in Lewis county may lawfully take possession of any lost, strayed, homeless or abandoned domestic animal, as defined in section one hundred eight of this chapter, found in any street, road or other public place.

  1. Any such police officer or agent or officer may also lawfully take possession of any animal in or upon any premises other than a street, road or other public place, which for more than twelve successive hours has been confined or kept in a crowded or unhealthy condition or in unhealthful or unsanitary surroundings or not properly cared for or without necessary sustenance, food or drink, provided that a complaint stating just and reasonable grounds is made under oath or affirmation to any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases, and that such warrant authorizing entry and search is issued and delivered by such magistrate; if just and reasonable cause is shown, the magistrate shall immediately issue such warrant.
  2. Any such police officer or agent or officer may also lawfully take possession of any unwanted animal from the person in possession or custody thereof.
  3. When any person arrested is, at the time of such arrest, in charge of any animal or of any vehicle drawn by or containing any animal, any agent or officer of said society or societies or any police officer may take charge of such animal and of such vehicle and its contents, and deposit the same in a safe place or custody, or deliver the same into the possession of the police or sheriff of the county or place wherein such arrest was made, who shall thereupon assume the custody thereof; and all necessary expenses incurred in taking charge of such property shall be a charge thereon.
  4. Nothing herein contained shall restrict the rights and powers derived from section one hundred seventeen of this chapter relating to seizure of unlicensed dogs and the disposition to be made of animals so seized or taken, nor those derived from any other general or special law relating to the seizure or other taking of dogs and other animals by a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
  5. a. If any animal is seized and impounded pursuant to the provisions of this section, section three hundred fifty-three-d of this article or section three hundred seventy-five of this article for any violation of this article, upon arraignment of charges the duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal shelter or any authorized agents thereof, hereinafter referred to for the purposes of this section as the “impounding organization”, may file a petition with the court requesting that the person from whom an animal is seized or the owner of the animal be ordered to post a security. The security shall be in an amount sufficient to secure payment for all reasonable expenses expected to be incurred by the impounding organization in caring and providing for the animal pending disposition of the charges. Reasonable expenses shall include, but not be limited to, estimated medical care and boarding of the animal for at least thirty days. The amount of the security, if any, shall be determined by the court after taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances of the case including, but not limited to the recommendation of the impounding organization having custody and care of the seized animal and the cost of caring for the animal. If a security has been posted in accordance with this section, the impounding organization may draw from the security the actual reasonable costs to be incurred by such organization in caring for the seized animal.
  6. (1) Upon receipt of a petition pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision the court shall set a hearing on the petition to be conducted within ten business days of the filing of such petition. The petitioner shall serve a true copy of the petition upon the defendant and the district attorney. The petitioner shall also serve a true copy of the petition on any interested person. For purposes of this subdivision, interested person shall mean an individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate or other legal entity who the court determines may have a pecuniary interest in the animal which is the subject of the petition. The petitioner shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the person from whom the animal was seized violated a provision of this article. The court may waive for good cause shown the posting of security.

(2) If the court orders the posting of a security, the security shall be posted with the clerk of the court within five business days of the hearing provided for in subparagraph one of this paragraph. The court may order the immediate forfeiture of the seized animal to the impounding organization if the person ordered to post the security fails to do so. Any animal forfeited shall be made available for adoption or euthanized subject to subdivision seven-a of section one hundred seventeen of this chapter or section three hundred seventy-four of this article.

(3) In the case of an animal other than a companion animal or pet, if a person ordered to post security fails to do so, the court may, in addition to the forfeiture to a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal shelter or any authorized agents thereof, and subject to the restrictions of sections three hundred fifty-four, three hundred fifty-seven and three hundred seventy-four of this article, order the animal which was the basis of the order to be sold, provided that all interested persons shall first be provided the opportunity to redeem their interest in the animal and to purchase the interest of the person ordered to post security, subject to such conditions as the court deems appropriate to assure proper care and treatment of the animal. The court may reimburse the person ordered to post security and any interested persons any money earned by the sale of the animal less any costs including, but not limited to, veterinary and custodial care. Any animal determined by the court to be maimed, diseased, disabled or infirm so as to be unfit for sale or any useful purpose shall be forfeited to a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a duly incorporated humane society or authorized agents thereof, and be available for adoption or shall be euthanized subject to section three hundred seventy-four of this article.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict in any way the rights of a secured party having a security interest in any animal described in this section. This section expressly does not impair or subordinate the rights of such a secured lender having a security interest in the animal or in the proceeds from the sale of such animal.

  1. In no event shall the security prevent the impounding organization having custody and care of the animal from disposing of the animal pursuant to section three hundred seventy-four of this article prior to the expiration of the thirty day period covered by the security if the court makes a determination of the charges against the person from whom the animal was seized prior thereto. Upon receipt of a petition from the impounding organization, the court may order the person from whom the animal was seized or the owner of the animal to post an additional security with the clerk of the court to secure payment of reasonable expenses for an additional period of time pending a determination by the court of the charges against the person from whom the animal was seized. The person who posted the security shall be entitled to a refund of the security in whole or part for any expenses not incurred by such impounding organization upon adjudication of the charges. The person who posted the security shall be entitled to a full refund of the security, including reimbursement by the impounding organization of any amount allowed by the court to be expended, and the return of the animal seized and impounded upon acquittal or dismissal of the charges, except where the dismissal is based upon an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal pursuant to section 215.30 of the criminal procedure law. The court order directing such refund and reimbursement shall provide for payment to be made within a reasonable time from the acquittal or dismissal of charges.
  2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, the court may order a person charged with any violation of this article to provide necessary food, water, shelter and care for any animal which is the basis of the charge, without the removal of the animal from its existing location, until the charges against the person are adjudicated. Until a final determination of the charges is made, any law enforcement officer, officer of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or its authorized agents, may be authorized by an order of the court to make regular visits to where the animal is being kept to ascertain if the animal is receiving necessary food, water, shelter and care. Nothing shall prevent any law enforcement officer, officer of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or its authorized agents, from applying for a warrant pursuant to this section to seize any animal being held by the person charged pending the adjudication of the charges if it is determined that the animal is not receiving the necessary food, water, shelter or care.
  1. No prior application has been made for the relief herein requested.
  2. The following is a discussion of the state of enforcing animal cruelty laws and an original argument that we respectfully request your Honor to consider:
  1. Dogs and cats may be considered property but when one destroys a stereo, one is not charged with felony animal abuse. Dogs and cats fall somewhere between a child and a stereo.  This is absolutely legally sound as our Agriculture and Market Laws all over these United States reflect that crimes against animals are codified as felony and misdemeanor crimes.
  2. Common sense prevails in law or should. Many specific acts of cruelty against a dog or cat may not be specifically outlined in the penal code but one should note acts of cruelty when they see it.  An act of cruelty would be defined as something that harmed the animal.  The example of bestiality is perfect because some individuals would have citizens believing that this cruelty was legal because it is not specifically codified – obviously that is patently false according to animal cruelty laws already codified.  Bestiality is cruel and therefore fits nicely into the category of either felony or misdemeanor without the act specifically codified.  We know the benefits of codifying specifically, which relieves a court and/or jury of time and effort to prove that the act was illegal.  But must one look very far to see that bestiality is cruel to an animal?  One should not have to look very far, or further than an animal health expert report and/or photos of the animal post-trauma.
  3. If it looks like cruelty, it smells like cruelty and it feels like cruelty, its cruelty. Many times we observe individuals on video harming an animal thus the documentation of their injuries is sometimes difficult due to either time passage with evidence of injury waning or inability to locate the animal to quantify. Therefore if the animal’s injuries are not properly quantified, the charge would be lesser to the perpetrator.
  4. In the case of “Jigs” AKA “Jake” the dog was harbored for at least 40 days of winter from about December 1, 2014 to January 24, 2015 without sufficient shelter and without a constant water source as is required by law as sustenance. The living conditions at an industrial yard are also noted to be filthy with regard to lack of waste removal.  Further, it should be duly noted by the court that this is an industrial yard versus a private residence where the dog would have had no supervision of sustenance over most of the 24 hours of each day.
  5. The dog was entered into the ASPCA “cruelty program” and underwent an apparent surgical procedure to remove a mass. In the ten days prior to receiving a doghouse with an apparent heat source on January 24, 2015, the dog was left in extremely freezing conditions down to and below zero degrees with a gaping open wound and a cone affixed to his head so as to not allow entrance into the substandard doghouse or ability to reach water if it was available but as we know now, water was not available even if the dog could reach the water which he could not, as previously noted herein.
  6. The NYPD is at a crossroads finally in taking over the responsibility of enforcing animal cruelty laws even though it has been clearly 14 months since receiving these duties in January of 2014. During the case of “Jigs” AKA “Jake” the NYPD consulted the ASPCA (previously with jurisdiction of enforcement and investigation of animal cruelty laws in the five boroughs) which in turn stated that the dog was harbored in legal conditions, which is outlined as false.  Since it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dog’s habitat was illegal from December 1, 2014 to January 24, 2015 the ASPCA clearly “dropped the ball” and extended that incompetence to the NYPD who would not seek out any further opinions regarding the dog’s conditions during that time and left the dog in these life-threatening conditions.
  7. During the month of January 2015 specifically, hundreds of phone calls were placed to the #123 Precinct in Staten Island to explain the law to them, as well as hundreds of calls to Commissioner Bratton’s office to which we would receive no response whatsoever. On one occasion when I called Precinct #123, I was informed that I was blocking other individuals from calling in to the station for other “real” crimes.   So for the hundreds of calls placed, no forward investigation was initiated by the NYPD for the crimes against this dog.  It was therefore the incompetence of Precinct #123 to issue summons and/or arrest warrant thereby necessitating hundreds of calls to block other callers from calling in to the station during that time.
  8. Since it is incumbent upon the public to report child abuse and it is incumbent upon CPS to perform an extensive review and investigation for same, it is equally the responsibility of the NYPD to investigate and enforce animal cruelty laws in NYC. Thus, any and all citizens regardless of their experience with animals have standing with regard to reporting animal cruelty and/or filing Article 78 mandamus motions for remedial benefit, i.e., an immediate cessation of illegal conditions and/or summonses or arrest warrants for those that are perpetrating animal cruelty.
  9. This dog “Jigs” AKA “Jake” is a Rottweiler dog. A Rottweiler dog does have a double coat which does establish the dog as being able to tolerate colder temperatures according to the law (than dogs without a double coat such as a smaller “toy” breed).  However, as stated, the dog is not a stereo.  It is the law that if one neglects a dog or cat to the point that the animal is suffering, it is absolutely a misdemeanor.  The time period for this dog to have suffered greatly was at least 40 days before January 24, 2015.  A dog is not a machine.  A dog has eyes, nose, mouth, ears, skin, and other bodily functions and organs such as a child human possesses.  A dog does not have any super powers to permit him or her to withstand zero degrees without any water, i.e., proper sustenance, whatsoever in these temperatures.  A dog can suffer dehydration, infection, starvation, and frostbite leading to gangrene without proper sustenance and without proper shelter as is outlined in the Agriculture and Markets Law to protect them.
  10. The current law with case law proscribes that an animal can be outside as long as the enclosure ensures that the animal is not in temperatures below freezing. An insulated doghouse, off the ground, with a flap, will provide 20 degrees warmer conditions.  Therefore if it is 10 degrees out, the doghouse would then be ostensibly 30 degrees.  Therefore if it is below 10 degrees, no animal should ever be outside so as to suffer the effects of freezing conditions.  Below freezing, there would not be an adequate water source so as to negate any “thermogenics”  that may occur to allow the dog to regulate temperature and circulation throughout the body.  The water literally creates a barrier between the environment and the dog’s inner body.
  11. It is absolutely clear that the dog was held in illegal conditions from December 1, 2014 to January 24, 2015 and the NYPD must be compelled to issue summons/arrest warrants to the owner Mr. (redacted) (or as we prefer the term “guardian” so as to differentiate between the harboring of a stereo versus a dog) of the dog. This individual must come before a jury of his peers to discuss the fact that this dog was held in illegal conditions and the NYPD must be compelled to answer as to the utter and complete lack of enforcement of the law regarding cruelty to dogs.
  12. The Commissioner must be compelled to issue an agency wide statement reiterating that the NYPD must enforce animal cruelty laws and to use common sense when enforcing those laws. Our position is that the ASPCA is incompetent in their ability to discern animal cruelty or acted with willful neglect of their issuance of an opinion.  The ASPCA must be completely marginalized from the arena of enforcing animal cruelty laws.  A task force employed in a special unit of the NYPD could be organized with animal experts such as veterinarians, animal rescuers, animal behaviorists, animal trainers and animal advocates from nonprofit corporations as remedial benefit.

WHEREFORE, Petitioners respectfully request that the Court grant the relief requested in the annexed Notice of Petition and issue an order pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR directing Respondents to change its present policy of refusing to properly investigate complaints of animal cruelty in accordance with the Agriculture and Markets Law or to issue summonses on complaints of animal cruelty and refusing to arrest offenders engaged in cruelty to animals and further directing Respondents to adopt a new policy of arresting and/or issuing summonses to persons engaged in violations of Article 26 & 26A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, as required by § 371 of the Agriculture & Markets Law, and issuing a warrant pursuant to § 372 of the Agriculture & Markets Law.  Pursuant to § 373 of the Agriculture & Markets Law, (redacted name), owner of “Jigs” AKA “Jake”, the above should serve as further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Dated: March 7, 2015

Kathryn Riviello (pro se)

President,

No Kill New York, Inc. 501(c)3

nokill-newyork.org

Our FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/NoKillNewYorkInc

Protest footage 1/24/15:

Protest footage 1/24/15:

Actual video of dog Jake with cone on head at night:

First Visit Out There (Note that the entity named in the video did NOT turn out to be the owner of the dog):

Photo Album and Posts Documented From Our Investigation:

NY POST EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE 03/15/15:

http://nypost.com/2015/03/15/animal-rescue-groups-suing-to-save-rottweiler-from-abusive-owner/

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18 thoughts on “First Lawsuit Filed Against the NYPD for Not Enforcing Animal Cruelty Laws, Historical Original Argument as to Why Dogs and Cats Should Have Rights in a Court of Law and Why Animal Activists Have Standing to File

  1. I am saddened to see that all of us animal advocates, all over the USA, are experiencing the same issues with the enforcement of animal welfare ordinances. We fought for the laws, now no one will enforce them. You have to get in a battle with your local AC if you want to get help for a dog. On top of that, most AC’s only go out on complaints, they do not ride around like police officers do, looking for people breaking the law. IF a dog is suffering in a neighbor’s yard, only IF their neighbors are brave enough to report them, does that dog even have a chance. Even then, the AC will go out and say the animal had food and water (how does that food and water always magically appear before the AC gets there??) no violations, dog is FINE. If I hear dog is FINE one more time, I think the top of my head might blow off. Short of starting a war with your local AC, you are powerless. Kudos to the author of this petition that she has taken it a step further. I wish this would go to the Supreme Court, that it would set some kind of precedent that we could all utilize across the US when we are trying to get help for a dog

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  2. A dog is suffering. There are laws regarding animal abuse and neglect. The owner has not cooperated or given cause to believe he has provided proper care of this dog. The dog needs to be removed and safely placed while the courts make a determination.

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  3. What a sad story. I hope this dog was taken away from the vial owner!!!!! This is horrible! Thank you for fighting for the rights of Jake! God bless you!

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  4. the fight is hard but so worth it! great job to all who rescue and advocate animal laws. please don’t ever give. its emotional and very hard I know first hand but every life counts. bless you all!

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    1. Thanks for asking Bonita. We have had an adopter since day one if this individual ever wanted to surrender or place in the shelter, we would be right there waiting. That is a very very small part of this action actually which is to revolutionize the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, increase the rights of cats and dogs and all animals in a court of law, and solidify our standing in court to file these lawsuits.

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    2. Most people who take these steps have a plan set if an animal is released. On the other hand I’d rather be dead then live like a criminal, paying a debt for the rest of my life for a crime that my owner committed.

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  5. Do these same laws exist in Florida? As I’ve seen several instances of animals in similar circumstances and animal control did nothing.

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    1. It is absolutely cruel to keep dogs in horrendously hot temperatures and we have seen the nightmares of which you speak in Florida. I would love to file similar types of petitions in every state and test the adjudication of animal cruelty laws in every state with regard to these conditions and other cruelty cases that are not properly enforced. If you know of one, please let us know right away. The phone number is 845 856 7366. Thank you!

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  6. This is cruelty to dogs,they should let a rescue pull this innocent dog because he or she can’t speak for itself,The live should make the owner surrender,so the dog can go to a good,and will be treated with love and care

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  7. I remember watching Animal Cops NY on Animal Planet and admiring them greatly , do they cover this area and if so what happened to them in a this case?????????

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