WHY WAS ACT CREATED?
In August 1999, the Arizona legislature and governor adopted an act amending Arizona Revised Statutes sections 11-1023 and 13-2910 relating to violence toward animals. This act, better known as the animal cruelty felony law, changed the penalties for those committing animal cruelty from a Class One Misdemeanor to a Class Six Felony. ACT was partially created to help law enforcement personnel understand and successfully use this new law. Additionally, ACT works as a public information and training organization to raise community awareness and help prevent violent crimes toward animals.
IS ACT AN ANIMAL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION?
No. ACT is a nonpolitical coalition of organizations who share the mutual goals of protecting animals and human beings from violent crime through the utilization of existing laws; prosecuting or rehabilitating offenders; providing public education or services to the animal and human victims of violent crime; or are practicing members of the veterinary medical community trained in the detection and treatment of animal cruelty. ACT does not accept members who are identified as animal rights activists or who are working to further a political agenda in respect to animals [see membership requirements below for further details].
DOES ACT INVESTIGATE CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS?
ACT is not an investigative organization, although many of its member organizations are. The taskforce’s primary purpose is to provide public education and training to professional organizations. ACT may assist existing police, animal control agencies and other investigative organizations with their public mandate to protect animals from neglect and abuse.
CAN ACT HELP ME WITH MY LEGAL QUESTIONS REGARDING ANIMALS?
Sorry, ACT does not provide legal advice. To see copies of our local laws, click here. For information pertaining to a specific law or violation, we suggest you contact the prosecuting authority or private legal counsel.
HOW DO I BECOME AN ANIMAL CRUELTY INVESTIGATOR?
Animal cruelty crimes can be jointly investigated by animal control officers, law enforcement authorities or civilian investigators such as those attached to a humane society. If you are interested in becoming an enforcement officer, we suggest you pursue a degree in criminal justice and then obtain your commission through an Arizona law enforcement academy. Once you have your commission, you can apply to a police agency that has an active animal cruelty investigation program. PLEASE NOTE: ACT does not have any employment opportunities as we are an all-volunteer organization.
WHO ARE THE MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF ACT?
Membership to the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona is limited to personnel from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies; personnel from organizations with existing programs that aid law enforcement and the prevention of animal cruelty; and personnel such as veterinarians or related professionals trained in detecting and diagnosing animal cruelty, treating animal victims, human offenders or providing public education. Member organizations include:
Adobe Veterinary Center
Arizona Child Protective Services
Arizona’s Children Association
Arizona Department of Agriculture
Arizona Department of Game and Fish
Arizona Department of Health Services
Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections
Arizona Veterinary Diagnostics Lab
Arrow Animal Hospital
Arizona Animal Control Association (AZACA)
Bullhead City Police Department
Casa Grande Animal Control
Cochise County Animal Control
Cochise County Sheriff’s Department
Community Alliance Against Family Abuse
Coolidge City Prosecutor’s Office
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Douglas Police Department
88-CRIME (Pima County Attorney’s Office)
Florence Police Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Tucson Resident Agency
Gila River Indian Community Law Office
Greenway Pet Clinic
Humane Society of Southern Arizona
Humane Society of the United States
Humane Society of Yuma
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Kearny Police Department
Marana Police Department
Maricopa County Animal Care & Control
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
Northwest Fire / Rescue District
Oro Valley Police Department
Pantano Animal Clinic
Pascua Yaqui Police Department
Pascua Yaqui Prosecutors Office
Phoenix Police Department
Pima Animal Care Center
Pima County Adult Probation
Pima County Attorney’s Office
Pima County Juvenile Courts
Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Pima Pet Clinic
Pinal County Adult Probation
Pinal County Adult Protective Services
Pinal County Animal Care & Control
Pinal County Attorney’s Office
Pinal County Sheriff’s Department
Sahaurita Police Department
Rural Metro Fire/EMS
Sierra Vista Animal Care and Control
South Tucson Police Department
Southern Arizona Veterinary and Emergency Center
Sunnyside School District
Tohono O’odham Prosecutors Office
Town of Gilbert Police Department
Town of Gilbert Prosecutor’s Office
Tucson Airport Authority Police Department
Tucson City Attorney’s Office
Tucson Fire Department
Tucson Police Department
Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson
Willcox Department of Public Safety
United States Border Patrol
United States District Court
University of Arizona Police Department
IS MEMBERSHIP IN ACT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC OR LAYPEOPLE?
No. The taskforce is open only to professionals working in the fields of law enforcement, criminal justice, animal protection or related fields. ACT does not accept laypeople as members, but if you are a professional working in the fields of law enforcement, criminal justice, animal control, veterinary medicine, emergency services or animal protection in southern Arizona, you are invited to contact us about membership.
ARE ACT MEMBERS PAID FOR THEIR SERVICE?
No, all ACT members are volunteers.
IF I AM FROM A QUALIFYING ORGANIZATION, HOW TO I APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP?
You may click on Membership under Contact Us and follow the instructions. You may also send a cover letter and current resume to Mike Duffey , ACT Co-Chair, c/o Humane Society of Southern Arizona, 3450 N. Kelvin Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85716. Your cover letter should explain your interest in membership and disclose any affiliations you have with animal rights groups or other political organizations that deal with animal issues. A panel of current ACT members will review new or unsolicited applications for their appropriateness. Applicants will be contacted by phone or mail as to the acceptance or rejection of their application.
ARE ACT MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?
No. Because ACT members may deal with current or on-going animal cruelty cases, all meetings are considered CLOSED AND CONFIDENTIAL. If a member of the public has information or concerns they would like to bring to ACT’s attention, they are welcome to address this by contacting the ACT officers.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ACT AND ITS WORK?
ACT publicizes its educational programs, community initiatives, training seminars, resources and more through the media, direct mailings, personal contacts, professional organizations and on this website.
WILL ACT PROVIDE EDUCATIONAL PRESENTATIONS TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, SCHOOL GROUP, CHURCH GROUP OR OTHER ORGANIZATION?
Yes, if ACT members are available. Regular outreach programs on the subject of animal cruelty are available through the following organization:Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s Community Outreach Department.
WILL ACT ACCEPT DONATIONS?
Of course. Funds for ACT are administered by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona so all donations are tax-deductible. Contributions should be mailed to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, ATTN: Animal Cruelty Taskforce, 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd., Tucson, Arizona. 85716. Please make checks payable to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and write “ACT” in the memo area. 100% of donations are used to enhance enforcement or provide public education on the subject of animal cruelty.