After a recent animal cruelty case where a nine-month-old puppy was set on fire, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) is calling on lawmakers to pass his bipartisan bill to create a statewide registry of animal abusers.
The bill, which has twice passed the state senate, has co-sponsors among both the Republican senate majority and the Democrat assembly majority.
Tedisco told IJReview that the registry would be run by the Division of Criminal Justice Services, and would allow animal rescues, shelters, pet stores, breeders and members of the public to look up online or over the phone if someone is on the registry before they give that person a companion animal:
"Anyone who is so twisted as to intentionally harm a companion animal like a dog or cat should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To prevent future violence, convicted animal abusers should be on a statewide animal abuse registry and never be allowed to have a pet again.
“Perhaps most importantly, convicted abusers need psychiatric evaluation and treatment or they will likely never stop abusing and neglecting animals, and in fact, may take the leap to hurting people.”
Tedisco has been leading the charge in New York to protect animals. He is one of the founders of New York State Animal Advocacy Day, and led the passage of “Buster’s Law” (named after a 18-month-old tabby cat that had been doused with kerosene and burned to death by a Schenectady teen), which created the felony category of "aggravated cruelty to animals.”
“Most of us can agree that companion animals are beloved and cherished members of our families and play a positive role in the lives of so many of New York’s citizens. As legislators, we have a responsibility to be a voice for all our constituents, including those who have no voice – our companion animals.”
The Animal Abuse Registry awaits passage in the assembly. The 5th annual Animal Advocacy Day will be held on June 3rd in Albany.