Busy Beginning for New Cruelty Investigator

In March, Sandra Scott-Rainey was hired as our new Cruelty Investigator. Sandy comes to us with a background in police work and rape investigation. She brings a big heart and a lot of legal knowledge to some very crucial issues. The position is currently part-time due to budget constraints, but from day one, Sandy's phone has not stopped ringing and she has had to put in forty hours a week to keep abreast of everything that's happening. In the following column which will be a regular feature of our newsletter, Sandy describes some of the challenges which she leapt to meet in her first sixty days on board.

Corner on Cruelty

Allow me to begin by introducing myself. My name is Sandra Scott-Rainey. I have approximately ten plus years of Academy Certified Law Enforcement and Investigation in Massachusetts, a BA in Criminal Justice, and a lifetime of interest, love and compassion for the Animal Kingdom. I live in South Berwick, ME with my seven year old daughter and a variety of pets.

I have been with CVHS as Cruelty Investigator since March 23rd of this year and I must say that I love it here and cannot think of anywhere else I would rather be. Everyone here has been so patient, helpful, and absolutely wonderful.

The last three months have been extremely busy and most eventful for the Cruelty Office. We have responded to many calls, have completed approximately thirty full cruelty cases, not including the twenty to thirty calls that were investigated and proved to be unfounded. At this moment there are four cases still pending in various courts. There seems to be a higher volume of cruelty issues within the Strafford County area than most people realize.

In the last three months, CVHS has taken into custody due to cruelty issues, 121 animals. These include dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, chickens, cows, ducks and geese. Whereas CVHS does not have the facilities or finances to build the appropriate facilities to house such a variety of animals, we find it necessary to reach out to others to help us. Foster homes for these animals are much needed. It can take several months for one of these cases to reach completion in the courts. During that time, it is crucial for these animals to be in a caring environment.

It is also very expensive. Along with regular food and care, CVHS bears the burden and expense of having these animals medically treated. Many vets we work with have generously donated part of their services. However, the medical bills and fostering costs that CVHS has born just in cruelty cases these past three months has reached in excess of $5,000. We greatly appreciate the services provided by the following veterinary clinics in helping us rescue and treat these abused and neglected animals: Wadleigh Falls Veterinary Clinic of Lee; Weare Animal Hospital of Weare; and Animal Health Center, Broadview Animal Hospital and the Equine Clinic of Rochester.

We thank those of you who recently responded to an appeal letter concerning the amount of money it takes to run our Cruelty Investigations. The appeal brought in $5,000 from our supporters which will cover the costs of caring for the animals from my first quarter on the job. Please continue to keep us in mind - we have another six months to go in 1998. We can't do it without your support.

Sandy Scott-Rainey