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LIVINGSTON COUNTY – In a highly emotional court appearance on Thursday morning, an agreement was reached between the NYS Attorney General’s office and the SPCA Humane Corps Inc., a locally formed animal cruelty prevention law enforcement force, in which the organization is to be formally dissolved by a county court order in 90 days after being blighted by a series of criminal allegations and law suits over the past year, but intend to use that time to reform another grassroots law enforcement organization.
The director and former peace officer of the organization, Dylan Chase, 45, has been the subject of several weapons and false documents investigations since the year of the force’s formation in 2013, and says that though the court order is upsetting, his passion lies not with this particular organization but with helping this community’s animals.
“I am responsible,” said Chase. “None of us here are lawyers, and the law is the law. This is not about ego. This is about being able to do what we do. What matters is that we have the heart to change the community. We take care of animals, we transport them to and from care, we get them food when it isn’t available. There are vets out there who live on $1,000 a month.”
Chase’s attorney, Kevin McKain, explained that the arrangement leaves a 90-day window for the SPCA members to get a formal waiver, the first step in forming a new organization without any law enforcement abilities, and that there will be ample opportunity from there to again get formal consent for law enforcement officers later.
“The agreement means that the SPCA Humane Corps Inc. will lose its designation and dissolve, but not for 90 days,” said McKain. “It is very likely that they will, at some time in the future, reapply.”
Part of the agreement that was put on the record also says that “Dylan Chase will, upon formation of another organization, be no part of a managerial role, or carry any firearm.”
Investigations into Chase began in August 2013 with firearms charges after he appeared at the Avon Corn festival in a uniform carrying a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun and night stick, while he did not have a pistol permit and it was illegal for him to carry a firearm because he has a felony Forgery conviction from 2002.
Later, allegations arose that he lied when applying to become a peace officer for the SPCA in March 2013, and in September 2013 was accused of Tampering with Physical Evidence after allegedly rendering the .45 caliber handgun non-functional.
Members of the board of directors for the SPCA and supporters from several neighboring counties were in court to show their support for Chase and the organization.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dylan Chase (far right) and his fellow SPCA board members and supporters outside the county courthouse Thursday morning. (Photo/Facebook)