On January 1, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) started collecting data on animal cruelty incidents under its National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Since animal control officers (ACOs) and humane law enforcement (HLE) officers are the first responders to many, if not most, incidents of animal neglect and cruelty, this professional community must play a key role in ensuring accurate and comprehensive reporting of animal cruelty crimes.
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) in partnership with the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) developed the NIBRS User Manual for Animal Control Officers and Humane Law Enforcement to ensure ACOs and HLE are aware of and fully equipped for their new and critical role in reporting animal cruelty incidents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prior to the creation of the NIBRS animal cruelty category in 2016, ACOs and HLE were not NIBRS reporters.
Written by former NACA Vice-President, Daniel DeSousa (San Diego County Department Animal Services), this manual helps bring HLE and animal control agencies into the NIBRS reporting system.
In addition to providing an introduction to the NIBRS animal cruelty incident report and guidance on reporting, the manual contains:
- a reporting form, developed in cooperation with the FBI, compatible with the NIBRS reporting system requirements;
- a template for a memorandum of understanding that can be used to formalize relationships between the animal control, or HLE agency, and the local police department for sharing data on animal cruelty incidents; and
- a map of current NIBRS participation states (as of February 7, 2016).