When it comes to cases of animal abuse, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown isn’t dogging it. His office is launching the city’s first-ever Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit to focus on crimes that range from dog fighting for blood sport and money to neglect and abandonment of household pets.“While animal cruelty cases have been aggressively prosecuted by a number of different bureaus throughout our office in the past, we recognize that the time has come for a committed and dedicated unit,” said Brown, noting his prosecutors work closely with the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Squad. “Such criminal activity cannot be tolerated if we wish to be known as a civilized society.” Brown said the unit is also tasked with educating the public about how to prevent and detect animal abuse. In 2006, Brown’s office was the first in the state to issue an order of protection for a dog that was repeatedly beaten by a friend of its owner. Since then, Brown’s office has prosecuted some high-profile animal cruelty incidents, including the recent case of Brewster, the emaciated boxer left for dead in a Queens park. “Anyone who can treat an animal in a horrific way is certainly capable and only a step away from treating people in an equally violent and negligent manner,” said Assistant District Attorney Nicoletta Caferri, who is heading up the unit. Caferri, who has a dog named Toby, worked on the Brewster case. The pooch’s owner, who originally claimed to find him in that condition, was arrested after for almost starving the dog to death. Luckily, Brewster bounced back and is thriving with a new family.
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