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Suffolk County To Partner With Non-Profit For Abused Animal Care 

Animal cruelty prosecutions are unlike other crimes – animals “need to be cared for while the case or investigation is pending,” DA says.

By, Peggy Spellman Hoey
May 8, 2023

HAUPPAUGE, NY — Suffolk County law enforcement will partner with the non-profit animal welfare organization, Fund for Animal Cruelty Treatment of Suffolk, Inc., or FACTS, to help cover the cost of animals seized in neglect cases.

The county and the organization recently entered into a memorandum of agreement that will help cover the cost of care for the victims of animal cruelty.

FACTS funds will help treat and care for animals that are victims of criminal animal cruelty investigations that are being prosecuted by District Attorney Tierney’s Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team, better known as the BEAST Team, which was formed last year.

The fundraising efforts were kicked off by Kristie Johnson, president of Foos Fire, Inc., a local Suffolk County fire sprinkler business, and her husband, Christopher Johnson, who presented FACTS with a $10,000 check

Tierney’s office launched the BEAST team to tackle the prosecution of animal and environmental crimes, requiring investigators to meet with animal victims and contribute to environmental projects throughout Long Island, as part of a pro bono initiative. The BEAST Team includes a team leader, as well as a crew of nine prosecutors and one support staff member who works with law enforcement counterparts at the local and county level. All violations of the state’s laws protecting animals and the environment are assigned to the team for “accountability and consistency,” Tierney’s office said.

The BEAST Team collects all registry and protective orders relating to animals, coordinates periodic compliance checks, and prosecutes resultant offenses.

Tierney announced the details in a news conference, along with the county’s police department and sheriff’s office, in Hauppauge on Monday.

Tierney said, “Prosecuting an animal cruelty case is unlike any other crime, in that the evidence of the crime consists of a living, breathing animal that needs to be cared for while the case or investigation is pending.”

Animal cruelty prosecutions are unlike other crimes – animals “need to be cared for while the case or investigation is pending,” DA says.

FACTS co-founders Joyce Glass and Barbara Dennihy said they are proud to partner with Suffolk.

“This funding allows animal victims to receive necessary care while recovering and cases are pending,” the two said in a statement. “FACTS meets an identified need during the investigation and prosecution of cases, focusing on victims without a voice. Donations to FACTS allow us to speak for animal victims by providing the care and treatment they deserve.”

Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said, “Cruelty cases are particularly disturbing as the victim is defenseless and voiceless.”

“This new partnership ensures that injured or neglected animals receive the necessary care they deserve while the case moves through the court process,” he said. “This is a win-win for animal rights, as well as Suffolk County taxpayers.”

Sheriff Errol Toulon said, “Often times when our deputy sheriffs are reporting to a domestic violence situation or similar crime, they find animals that are also victims of cruelty or abandonment.”

“This partnership with FACTS will allow us to immediately get these animals the proper treatment and housing they deserve without worrying about where the funding for their care is coming from.”