New intervention program hopes to rehabilitate animal abusers

Local News

A first-of-its-kind program designed to rehabilitate men and women accused of animal cruelty or neglect is launching right here in Central New York.

The CNY Animal Cruelty Task Force has started the jail diversion program in hopes of preventing repeat offenders. 

The task force, working closely with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office and probation office, has 16 people for its first program, which meets once a week for 16 weeks. 

“If they went to jail or were on probation, they aren’t getting any education or intervention,” explained Nicole Heath, a facilitator with CNY Animal Cruelty Task Force. “Hopefully this program will solve that problem and help them see there is a different way.” 

Supporters of the program hope stopping animal abuse will stop other crimes as well because it is a gateway crime which often leads to abuse of children, partners or the elderly. 

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