Our Mission

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a non-profit law enforcement organization, which works within the State of New York, specifically in Schenectady County, to investigate complaints of animal cruelty. We work very closely with the various Police agencies within the county and work to educate the public regarding the State animal cruelty laws.

Who are we?

Investigators employed by the Schenectady, Schoharie and Saratoga County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Law Enforcement Division are designated New York State Peace Officers under New York State Criminal Procedure Law section 2.10 paragraph 7. Investigators carry firearms and have custodial arrest powers. When performing their duties they may issue appearance tickets for penal law, environmental conservation law, and recreation and historic preservation law violations. Investigators may also issue uniform navigation summons and simplified traffic informations (see NYS CPL 2.20).

What do we do?

Investigators with the SPCA primarily conduct criminal investigations, execute search warrants, and make arrests for misdemeanor and felony violations of New York State’s Animal Cruelty Laws (codified as New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26).

What we don’t do…

Investigators do not “catch dogs,” get involved with “dangerous dogs” or respond to complaints about a dog barking late at night. You should contact an animal control officer to assist with those issues and to capture stray and/or lost animals. Investigators are not ‘game wardens.’ Assistance with enforcing the NYS Environmental Conservation Law should be referred to the nearest NYS DEC Police Officer. We do not catch wild animals or do pest control. We do not deal with the disposal of dead animals on or alongside a roadway. You should normally contact the highway department for carcass removal.

How can we help you?

Investigators with the Schenectady, Schoharie and Saratoga County SPCA are normally available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to assist other law enforcement agencies that lack the investigative or manpower resources needed for animal cruelty investigations and arrest processing. Investigators are also available to train law enforcement agencies on animal cruelty and animal fighting laws.

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