A partnership is being announced to remedy the long-standing issue of how to investigate and handle animal cruelty cases in a timely and cost-effective manner in Oneida County.

At a press conference this morning, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced that they are joining forces with the Central New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CNYSPCA) to enable the latter to serve as animal cruelty investigators for the county.

SPCA investigators are peace officers licensed by the State of New York.

The need for officers, or investigators, to serve in this capacity has been well documented - especially in light of some highly publicized local incidents involving alleged animal abuses.  From cases concerning everything from dogs and cats to chimpanzees and cows, there has been no shortage of attention-grabbing headlines concerning animals throughout the state.   What was at issue, however, was from where the resources would be taken to fulfill the need for humane investigators without tapping into a well already stressed by the need for investigators for cases involving human beings.

In a written statement Picente said, "We looked at all the different approaches we could take. We met with the stakeholders in the community and we solicited input from Sheriff (Rob) Maciol, District Attorney (Scott) McNamara and the Chairman of the Board of Legislators Gerald Fiorini. After processing the information we feel this is the best way to proceed for the benefit of the taxpayers, community stakeholders and most importantly the animals.

Joining Picente at the press conference to show their support for the agreement were Paul Morgan, Executive Director of the CNYSPCA, Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, and Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol along with representatives from the Stevens-Swan Humane Society, Spring Farm Cares, and the Rome Humane Society.

The agreement, and the $102,000 price tag that comes with it, must still be approved by the Oneida County Board of Legislators.  Their next meeting takes place on March 12, 2014.