Mark your calendars! On June 1st, hundreds of pet owners, animal advocates, rescues, shelters, veterinarians, law enforcement and other supporters will descend on Albany to strengthen Buster’s animal cruelty law.
The first-ever New York State Animal Advocacy Day is being sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and Senator Greg Ball (R,C-Patterson) along with several other legislators from both sides of the aisle and will be held on June 1st in the Well of the state Legislative Office Building in Albany from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a speaking program to start at 11 a.m. This special event will enable animal supporters to network and share information and then lobby their legislators to enact the toughest animal cruelty laws in the nation.
“Animals are a beloved and cherished member of many of our families and play a positive role in the lives of so many of New York’s citizens,” said Tedisco, former Minority Leader and current Assistant Minority Whip, who has two dogs and two cats. “Animal abuse, cruelty and neglect result in unnecessary pain and suffering to animals. As research indicates, violence against animals is a bridge crime that can, and has, led to violence against people.”
“ Persons who commit crimes against animals are the worst kind of people, the level of respect and kindness shown for an animals, creatures who cannot speak for themselves, or protect themselves and are easily abused and taken advantage of, is a fine predictor of how a person will treat their peers, violent and cruel behavior towards animals, cannot and should not be tolerated.”
In 1999, a statewide effort helped to collect over 118,000 signatures to pass the landmark Buster’s Law creating the felony category of “aggravated cruelty to animals,” punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Buster’s Law was named after an 18-month-old tabby cat that had been doused with kerosene and burned to death by a Schenectady teen. Prior to this bill becoming law, animal cruelty resulted in only misdemeanor penalties, if any charges were imposed at all.
Since the 1997 arrest that inspired the creation of Buster’s Law, the perpetrator who abused the cat has been imprisoned for various crimes, including attempted rape, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment of a 12-year-old girl.
“Unfortunately, animal cruelty and abuse is still prevalent. Let’s harness the immense grassroots support we had in 1999 and come to Albany and fight for stronger laws to protect our companion animals and to bring public attention to the need to protect all members of our families – especially those who cannot speak for themselves,” said Tedisco.“Passing Buster’s law in 1999 was a great first step to protecting New York States companion animals, but animal abuse continues. We need to make sure there are laws in place that protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
Tedisco and Ball are available for interviews about the statewide NYS Animal Advocacy Day. To interview Assemblyman Tedisco, please call (518) 441-5183. To speak with Senator Ball, call (845) 200-9716.
For more information on NYS Animal Advocacy Day, visit the event’s Facebook page.