New North Country task force fights animal cruelty

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) We told you about efforts in Essex County, New York, to put an animal cruelty task force in place. Since its start in 2012, county officials say it has been a thriving force for animals.

That brings us to Franklin Country.

"When you can throw a kitten out of a car and not think twice about it, that's a problem," said Linda Yelch of Focus on Ferals.

"Abandonment is cruelty and there are so many animals that need help and we need help to help them," said Donna Bailey of Focus on Ferals.

After a year of planning and some help from Essex County, Franklin County was just approved for an Animal Cruelty Task Force of its own. The organization is in its early stages but has already placed some pets.

"This girl and her brother were brought it. There was a house fire in Chateaugay and they lost everything," said Lisa Coryea of Precious Pups.

The task force will focus on abuse, neglect and abandonment cases, and pet owners struggling with the cost of pet ownership.

"It's not just going to be prosecuting offenders, it's going to be helping people that really need our help with their pets," Coryea said.

Franklin County District Attorney Craig Carriero says having the task force in place allows the county to respond quickly when animals are in need.

"Having monthly meetings where you have everyone at the table, you can take cases you're dealing with and kind of develop a team or comprehensive approach," Carriero said.

The district attorney said some cases could lead to prosecution if there is noticeable physical abuse. He also said sometimes animal abuse cases can reveal domestic abuse in the home.