The Animal Cruelty Unit is responsible for the prosecution of all crimes committed against animals within Erie County. These crimes include cruelty to animals, the neglect of pets, animal hoarding and the fighting of dogs and other animals.
The prosecutor assigned to this unit, Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey, works closely with SPCA Serving Erie County peace officers, city and town animal control officers, forensically trained veterinarians and experts in the study of animal fighting.
These cases require special training and increased devotion of time because the vast majority of crimes committed against animals must be proven entirely through circumstantial evidence as these most vulnerable victims, the animals, cannot speak for themselves. The prosecution of these cases in a court of law requires specialized knowledge and expertise in order to educate the judge or jury regarding the meaning and understanding of the evidence presented.