Alexandria, VA— On Friday, March 2nd at 1:45 p.m., the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office will be recognized with two awards for its Animal Abuse Unit by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA)/National Center for Prosecution of Animal Cruelty and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)/National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse.
The Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office will receive the Prosecutor’s Office Award for Countering Animal Cruelty and Sheriff’s Office Award for Countering Animal Abuse, each of which recognizes a prosecutor’s office and a sheriff’s office that have demonstrated a history, a major change, and/or an outstanding accomplishment in countering any form of animal abuse/cruelty through enforcement, prosecution, community involvement, education, or training.
April Doherty, lead investigator for the Animal Abuse Unit, will receive The PO – Game Changer Award, which is awarded annually to three individuals — one from a prosecutor’s office, one from a sheriff’s office, and one from a nonprofit advocacy organization — that have exceeded expectations in demonstrating a history in countering animal abuse/cruelty. These individuals and nonprofit organizations are visionaries and game changers, who have empowered and inspired colleagues, like-minded organizations, and communities that serve to counter animal abuse and cruelty.
In 2015, Doherty was featured as a “Softie” in the public service campaign Show Your Soft Side alongside colleague Adam Lippe, the chief attorney for the Animal Abuse Unit. In 2016, Doherty was elected co-chair of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals (NCOVAA), created under the National Sheriff’s Association’s National Law Enforcement Center of Animal Abuse.
“April’s dedication for justice and love of animals make her the perfect recipient for this award,” said Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s President David LaBahn. “Prevention and early treatment of animal cruelty is key to stopping the cycle of violence. By reporting and investigating animal abuse authorities can recognize other types of violence. It’s time for the nation to take crimes against animals seriously for the sake of our committees, and April has been instrumental in prosecuting these cases in Maryland for the past five years.”
“Baltimore County and Ms. Doherty are making changes in the way law enforcement views animal abuse. Too often across our country, law enforcement officers and prosecutors do not see or understand the link between animal abuse and violence against humans. Understanding this link can make communities safer and bring evil to justice” said John Thompson, Deputy Executive Director and COO of the National Sheriffs’ Association.