Pet Pointers: Animal cruelty laws
Several states are looking to make changes to their animal cruelty laws. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza has more about what's being proposed.
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Each year, thousands of animals are abused or killed and those responsible sometimes seem to get off with light penalties for these horrific acts of cruelty against animals. But some states, including New York, are trying to makes laws tougher and make those who abuse animals pay.
Cruelty investigator Paul Morgan, CNYSPCA, tells us how these changes can help.
“For a police officer out on the road answering calls, it will be a little easier to have everything in the penal law. Right now, misdemeanors and agricultural market laws are non-printable offenses because they're not in the penal law. So now you're going to see misdemeanors into the penal law which then will be a printable offense with a mugshot and so forth. So that will be better in regards to getting them into the system,” said Paul Morgan, SPCA Cruelty Investigator.
The bills, if passed, by the NYS legislature would accomplish several things: Apply tougher penalties to animal cruelty charges, increasing sentences from a maximum of two years to seven years in prison in some cases, and those convicted would have to submit a DNA sample. One provision would create new laws on animal abandonment and endangering the welfare of an animal.
Currently, most cruel acts against animals are considered violations of the Agriculture & Markets Law.
Lawmakers hope by increasing penalties for crimes against animals and creating tougher new laws, they will be helping to protect all animals from harm and punish those who commit crimes against them.
*Ask lawmakers to pass the following legislation: S 5017 increases penalties for intentional harm, S 5015 increases penalties for dog fighting, and S3317 Establish a toll free animal fighting hotline.