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Star For Immediate Release
December 7, 2007

CONTACT: Gilbert L. Moore
(202) 616-1728

COPS OFFICE AND ASPCA WORK TOGETHER TO HELP POLICE STOP DOGFIGHTING

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is pleased to announce our partnership with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) to develop a resource packet that will support police efforts to combat dogfighting. The packet will provide law enforcement with tools and training resources to help them recognize dogfighting, effectively collect and process evidence, handle victimized animals, establish partnerships with the community and prosecutors, and to establish animal task forces. The newly developed resources will be available for order or download from COPS website, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov, in the summer of 2008.

Dogfighting is a violent crime that has grown in popularity in many urban and rural areas over the last decade. In communities where dogfighting is prevalent, it is considered a significant safety concern for both the public and law enforcement, and it often co-occurs with illegal gambling, drug possession and distribution, illegal weapons possession, parole and probation violations, child endangerment, and it can contribute to violent behavior.

"Ask anyone who lives in a community where dogfighting occurs and they will tell you that they want this illegal activity and all of the problems associated with it gone," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "COPS is pleased to support the development of resources that help law enforcement and communities create safer neighborhoods, and together with the ASPCA we believe that we can have a significant impact on dogfighting."

"The ASPCA is honored to have partnered with COPS on this extremely important initiative," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "Our organization was founded almost a century and a half ago as a law enforcement agency to fight animal cruelty, and we have seen time and time again that the best way to tackle it is by involving the community-and that's exactly what this partnership will do."

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide and supporting state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Since 1995, COPS has invested $12.4 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring of more than 117,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, technical assistance, conferences and webcasts.

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 [c] [3] not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit http://www.aspca.org.

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