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"Animal Cruelty and the Law" Is the Subject of Hudson Valley Community College Panel on April 19

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, February 21, 2005

Five experts in the animal welfare field will gather at Hudson Valley Community College, on Tuesday, April 19, to discuss the topic Animal Cruelty and the Law.

The panel discussion begins at 6 p.m. and will be in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Meeting Rooms. Admission is free and open to the public.

The discussion is part of Animal Law, a newly-created Criminal Justice Department course offered for the first time this semester from March 15 - May 12. The course, taught by Valerie Lang, J.D., covers the history of animal welfare legislation as well as current investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

The panelists are:

  • Susan McDonough, a 26-year New York State Police veteran who has extensive experience in criminal animal cruelty investigations. McDonough has also served as president of the New York State Humane Association (NYSHA) and co-authored the NYSHA manual, "How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in New York State."
  • Rensselaer County Deputy District Attorney Joel Abelove. Abelove has presented at trainings for law enforcement and animal control officers on the issue of investigating animal cruelty cases. In 1997, he received the 11th annual Toni Hanna Memorial Award presented by the New York State Humane Association for outstanding performance in the field of Humane Law Enforcement.
  • Dr. Holly Cheever, a veterinarian who has presented programs to elementary through college level students on animal advocacy issues and environmental issues. She assists local and state police in animal abuse investigations and prosecutions. She was the veterinary columnist for Good Housekeeping from 1997-2001 and serves on the board of directors for the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights and the New York State Humane Association.
  • Stacy Wolf, an attorney who serves as director of legislative services for the ASPCA. In the past several years, she has spearheaded passage of New York's felony animal cruelty law; the pet dealer licensing law; the dog shelter law; and a measure to grant veterinarians immunity from liability when they report companion animal cruelty. Wolf assists police, peace officers and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases in New York State and helps train law enforcement professionals in animal cruelty law. Wolf is president of AnimaLovers, the Animal Welfare League of the Greater Capital District, Inc., a non-profit group that rescues and finds homes for dogs and cats throughout the Albany area.
  • Steve Caporizzo, WTEN's chief meteorologist and an advocate for pet adoption. In 1990, Caporizzo started a segment called Pet Connection, which airs each Monday and Thursday on the 5 p.m. news. This segment introduces viewers to homeless animals in hopes of finding them a home. In the past 14 years, he has found homes for more than 3000 dogs and cats, and raised more than $150,000 on their behalf.

For more information about the panel discussion or the course, contact Lang at 629-7319.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.