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INDIANAPOLIS (June 4,2015)- Animal cruelty is a serious problem in Indianapolis, but one that doesn’t always get a lot of attention.

One of the reasons cases of animal abuse and neglect sometimes fly under the radar is because many of them don’t result in criminal charges.

In 2014, only 11 criminal cases in Marion County dealt with animal cruelty.

To increase animal cruelty convictions in 2015, a group of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control and IMPD officers are going through a special training this week.

The national Animal Cruelty Investigative School is a week-long course.

Officers are taught exactly what to look for in cases of animal abuse or neglect.

They’re also instructed on the best way to interview the animal owner and how to gather evidence that will hopefully lead to a criminal conviction.

“The more cases that the judges are seeing and the public is seeing the more convictions we’re going to get,” said Deputy Chief Kim Wolsiffer, with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

Indianapolis Animal Control and Cruelty has been charged with increasing its criminal conviction by 25% in 2015.

The department hopes its new training will help it reach that goal.

Officers are also asking that if people notice an animal being abused or neglected that they report the situation immediately to Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.