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Conference focuses on investigation and prosecution of animal crimes

Animal crimes investigation and prosecution was the focus of a conference held Saturday morning in Rochester.

Adrienne McHargue, spokesperson for Lollypop Farm said it’s a complex system considering victims can’t speak for themselves; and that this event gives animal advocates and allied professionals together to understand how these crimes are processed by law enforcement, district attorneys and judges.

She said Lollypop investigates animal crimes ion Monroe, Genesee, Livingston and Orleans counties.

Last year, they received 3,200 calls for service that resulted in 22 arrests.

"Animals who do not have shelter in inclement weather, like when it’s really cold outside they don’t have an adequate doghouse or don’t have a doghouse at all. Or animals who are left in hot cars."

She said they see neglect cases in both pets and farm animals.

Animal crimes can range anywhere from misdemeanors to felonies depending on what’s committed, said McHargue, and urged anyone who believes abuse is happening to call 911.

"Cruelty to animals is a crime just like any other crime and they should never hesitate to call. And even if they don’t know exactly what’s going on but are concerned for the safety of that animal, making the call will get someone there to take care of it."

She hopes making the community aware of these crimes will hold violators accountable and maybe one day increase penalties.

Anyone who wants to report an animal crime is asked to call 911 or the Lollypop Farm animal cruelty hotline at 585-223-6500.