More than 700 law enforcement officials are scheduled to attend The Humane Society of the United States’ Puerto Rico Law Enforcement Animal Cruelty Training taking place April 25–29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hilton Ponce Golf and Casino Resort. The event is a continuation of the Humane Puerto Rico program, an HSUS initiative that seeks to dramatically improve the welfare of animals on the island.

“We’ve already seen a great increase in animal cruelty cases being reported,” said Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico director of The HSUS. “We hope that by educating people we can bring Puerto Rico to a new level of animal welfare and protection, setting an example for other communities as well.”

“The Puerto Rico Police is committed to the wellbeing of animals, and that’s why we’ve been in charge of assigning the appropriate Animal Abuse Prevention units with the necessary training so that in cases of animal cruelty, which are so important, agents are prepared to investigate,” said José L. Caldero López, superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police. “We are thankful for the help we’ve received from The Humane Society of the United States before the need to address animal cruelty together as a society. We will continue to offer the necessary tools to train our staff so that aside from enforcing the law, we are able to address such cases in a humane way.”

The trainings will focus on the following topics: interpreting and applying cruelty and fighting laws, including an in-depth discussion of the Animal Welfare and Protection Act 154; background on puppy mills, dogfighting and animal abuse; investigating animal cruelty cases and the correlation between animal cruelty and other felony crimes.

State and municipal police officers, animal control officers, prosecutors, inspectors and rangers of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources will receive a free evidence gathering kit and a free digital camera. The HSUS will also provide additional training to animal rescue community and shelter staff from April 26 to 28 at the same location and times of day.

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