Huntington Station Assemblyman calls for tougher legislation to protect animals
Above, Assemblyman Conte meets with members of the Canines for Combat Veterans, an organization that trains dogs to help disabled American Veterans.
Assemblyman Jim Conte (R,I,C,WF-Huntington Station) today attended the first-ever New York State Animal Advocacy Day. Assemblyman Conte joined a number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as pet and animal owners from across the state to call for the enactment of tougher animal cruelty laws.
Groups attending the event included the stars of the National Geographic Channel show, Rescue Ink, a group of New York City/Long Island-based tattooed, motorcycle-riding tough guys on a mission to save animals in danger.
“Today’s event will go a long way toward rallying support for enacting tougher penalties against animal cruelty,” said Conte. “Pets play an important role as an extension of our families, as well as serving as companion animals to those with disabilities. These furry members of our society need to be protected from abuse, and policies need to be enacted that will require psychological evaluations for those who harm animals. ”
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 an upstate teen. Research indicates that violence against animals is a bridge crime that can, and has, led to violence against people.
Among the bi-partisan legislation being advocated for are measures to require anyone convicted of Buster’s Law to undergo a psychiatric evaluation (A.1580/S.5084 and A.1567/S.3805) and be placed on a registry of animal abusers (A.1506/S.3804) as well as bills to increase penalties for animal fighting (S.3806 and A.4407/S.3237).