Buddy and Porky Pet Health – Help Sought Supporting Animal Cruelty Laws Bill

Dear Readers
This might seem a little boring but it is very important and we need your help.

A bill has been introduced in the New York State Assembly, (the number is A893-2013), which moves the animal cruelty laws from the Agriculture and Markets law to the Penal law.

We need you to contact your local assembly person and ask him or her to support this bill. Here’s why:

Existing criminal penalties for violating various animal cruelty sections of  the agriculture and markets law are seriously inadequate.

We know that animal cruelty involves significant criminal conduct which reaches beyond the injury, inhumane treatment, or death of an animal, as bad as that is.

There is strong evidence that men who engage in dog fighting and other forms of animal  cruelty are likely to eventually also commit abusive criminal acts against women and  children.

In many areas of the state there is a clear connection between dog fighting, animal cruelty and those who engage in other criminal acts of violence, gang activity and the drug and weapons trades.

Sometimes though, judges, prosecutors, and police officers do not take acts of animal cruelty as seriously as they should.

A major reason for this is that the provisions making the underlying conduct a crime are found in the Agriculture and Markets Law rather than the Penal Law.

Criminal acts which are not specified within the Penal Law are not viewed as “real crimes.”

In addition, while judges, prosecutors, and police officers are generally quite familiar with the provisions of the Penal Law, they are sometimes much less  familiar with the  provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law and police officers are frequently untrained in how to recognize, let alone investigate, such crimes.

While the efforts of the peace officers of the local societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCAs) are laudable, to maximize enforcement of these laws and deterrence of  the underlying conduct, these efforts need to be supplemented by broader, stepped-up enforcement of animal cruelty laws by local police and sheriff departments.

We hope that placing animal cruelty provisions in the Penal Law will assist local law enforcement agencies in taking a more aggressive posture.

You can find out who your local assembly person is by going to the member search page of the Assembly website at http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/

You just type in your address and the name pops up with his or her contact links.

Thanks for doing this.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Phone (315) 207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because  people and pets are good for each other!

1 Comment

  1. This is an excellent article about strengthening penalties for animal abuse. I had never considered that moving the laws from Agriculture to Penal would make a difference.

    I live in Ohio, where seven companion animal bills, each having to do with animal cruelty, languished and died in the legislature last year. Ohio ranks 34th in animal protections. Ohio needs to look into what New York is doing. – Best wishes!

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