NEW YORK CITY — The city has now opened up its anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline to accept animal cruelty complaints from across the five boroughs, officials said.
The ASPCA announced a partnership Wednesday with the NYPD's Crime Stoppers program, which will now have its operators take down information about animal cruelty in the city the same way they do for murders, shootings, rapes and other major crimes.
Tipsters can call the hotline and will also be eligible for an award of up to $2,500 for tips that lead to an arrest and indictment for animal cruelty, the ASPCA said.
Previously, tipsters could report possible cruelty by calling 311 or 911.
“By working with Crime Stoppers we are giving New Yorkers the means and motivation to stop dangerous criminals and giving animal victims a better chance to survive and recover,” says Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA said in a statement.
The program is an extension of the collaboration between the NYPD and the ASPCA launched in 2014 that allows the police department to take the lead in animal cruelty cases.
It resulted in more animal cruelty arrests than ever — a 160 percent increase in cruelty arrests and 180 percent spike in the number of animals rescued, according to the agency.