Kankakee County names two prosecutors to animal cruelty team
Two Kankakee County prosecutors will serve on the newly created Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit to enforce the county’s zero-tolerance position on animal cruelty, according to a release from the office.
Using an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) grant of nearly $4,000, Assistant State’s Attorneys Erika Hamer and Graeme Quinn will attend nationally recognized trainings to develop their expertise in animal abuse and neglect cases, covering topics that include investigation, evidence gathering and prosecution. They will then work with local investigators and representatives from welfare agencies to pass along relevant information and ensure the county’s operations in these cases follow the correct procedures.
Hamer, who specialize in domestic violence and sexual assault, and Quinn, who works with civil matters and crafting county policy, will team up with local officials, including investigators, police officers and forensically trained veterinarians, to ensure that abuse and neglect cases are handled correctly.
“It is about time that Kankakee County has a unit of specially trained prosecutors dedicated to aggressively prosecuting anyone accused of killing or injuring an animal in our community,” State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said in a press release. “I am keenly aware of the significance of violence towards animals and its relationship to domestic violence and child abuse. That link is why zero tolerance for animal cruelty is a position that needs to be maintained; it’s another way of protecting not just the animals, but the people of our county.”