Our Humane Police Officers (HPOs) investigate cases relating only to horses or other equine (i.e. donkeys, and mules), that are victims of neglect, abuse, or cruelty. Our officers can only legally respond to calls for incidents that occur in Westmoreland County, PA.
Some Things You Should Know Before Making a Report
Keep in mind that our officers can only address issues that are illegal according to the cruelty laws stated in the PA Crimes Code listed below. Here is what Pennsylvania considers offenses that would relate to horses, under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531–556.
An individual is committing an offense if they fail to provide:
Necessary sustenance and potable water.
Access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather. The shelter must be sufficient to permit the animal to retain body heat and keep the animal dry.
Necessary veterinary care.
Also, a person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons, tortures, or abuses an animal.
You, and we, may not always agree with the way others care for their animals, but, if they are in compliance with the above standards, we cannot base our response on our opinions.
Did you personally observe the incident? You must have first-hand knowledge. Our humane officers cannot investigate second-hand, hearsay, or anonymous reports, nor will they respond to Facebook messages. Requests for humane officers will only be accepted through one of the two methods in red below - via a phone call or email. We will not share your name or information with anyone unless ordered by a court to do so. However, there are some situations that can only be prosecuted if there is a witness who is willing to testify.
Photographs or videos that are legally obtained are of great value.
If you have read all of the above and feel that someone is in violation of the law, call 724-961-9394 to file a report.
The following information must be included:
A phone number where you can be reached.
The address/location of the incident. Remember, our officers can only respond in Westmoreland County.
Your relationship to the people or person you are reporting.
A detailed description of what you observed or witnessed.
What Happens After The Report is Made
Our officers will begin an investigation. Please do not call and ask for information or details regarding the outcome of the investigation. Active investigations must be handled properly and disclosing information can compromise the case and/or violate the legal rights of the individuals. If the officer needs more information, he or she will contact you.
Second Chance Equine Association
SCEA Humane Police Officers
Paul has been a humane police officer with SCEA for four years and he has been involved with SCEA since its formation. He has an extensive background in equine studies and practice. Paul has studied Animal Sciences at the University of Kentucky and Agricultural Sciences at the Ohio State University. He has worked at the Equine Referral Clinic in Iowa as an equine surgical and critical care technician. Paul has competed on a national level in 3-day eventing and is a "Graduate A" of the US Pony Club. He managed the horse facilities at the Rolling Rock Club and has been a horse owner and enthusiast all of his life.
Erin Cassidy has been working as a Humane Police Officer since 2017. She has extensive training and experience and has been very successful in the prosecution of humane cases. Erin believes that quality of life and the best outcome for the animals, whether through education and assistance, or law enforcement, is always the primary goal of humane work. Erin cares for her own horses and cows at home, and continues her pursuit of equine education through SCEA.
Aundrea is the latest addtion to SCEA's Humane Police Officers. She has three years experience as an HPO for the Humane Society of Westmoreland County and Paw Across Pittsburgh. Aundrea and is a welcome addition to our team.