Cross-reporting refers to the process of the interdisciplinary/ interagency reporting and information sharing geared towards ensuring comprehensive and appropriate responses to Link related public safety and welfare issues.
Cross reporting is a suggested best practice for the following reasons:
- Public safety and welfare issues are most effectively addressed through coordinated responses by relevant agencies and disciplines sharing expertise and resources and providing mutual support.
- The overlap of animal maltreatment with issues of human maltreatment and violence elevates the likelihood of cases having cross disciplinary implications which require substantial system interfaces.
- Effective cross-reporting supports collaborative efforts which can strengthen community alliances and resources to improve future multidisciplinary responses to a wide variety of occurrences not limited to the Link.
Multiple systems and disciplines are impacted by or respond to the commonly identified Link behaviors of animal cruelty, interpersonal violence, child maltreatment and maltreatment of at-risk adults as well as other criminal behaviors related to animal cruelty. There are 22 judicial districts, 64 counties and 271 incorporated municipalities in Colorado and the manner in which animal cruelty is investigated will often be specific to the particular jurisdiction where the investigation occurs. Depending on the specific circumstances, one of more of the following agencies may be responsible for animal neglect and cruelty investigations:
- municipal animal control officers
- municipal law enforcement officers
- county animal control officers
- county law enforcement officers
- Colorado Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Protection commissioned investigators
- Humane Society investigators (commissioned by the Bureau of Animal Protection )
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers
Animal cruelty cases that reveal a wider spectrum of Link behaviors may require a significant investigative response and involvement by additional parties and agencies such as:
- Bureau of Land Management
- crime scene investigators
- veterinary medical professionals
- human services agencies
- public health and safety officials
- licensing officials
- fire and medical first responders
- hazardous materials teams
Vulnerable children, elders or other at-risk individuals are frequently endangered by the people and circumstances in the environment. In such circumstances human services agencies may be called upon to investigate possible issues of maltreatment which may include neglect, abuse or exploitation.
When circumstances dictate the removal of persons from a potentially hazardous environment, additional community resources such as shelters, foster care placements, nursing homes, hospitals may be required.
Animals that need to be removed often require the specialized skills of animal control or humane society professionals to be safely controlled and transported. Additional resources may be required for veterinary care, food, and temporary or long term sheltering.
Post incident additional systems interfaces may occur and include a wide array of:
- criminal justice agencies
- human services agencies
- domestic violence agencies
- medical and health agencies
- mental health agencies
- victim and legal advocates
- other community support systems
Successful assessment and intervention will also require the expertise of animal cruelty evaluators and treatment intervention specialists.