Assemblyman James N. Tedisco (R,I,C-Schenectady/Saratoga) today called for the establishment of a New York state animal abuse registry. Tedisco will introduce legislation creating a registry of individuals convicted of animal abuse to be utilized by pet stores, animal shelters and breeders. Tedisco said the bill was especially necessary considering the recent arrest of a 28-year-old Schenectady man for allegedly stabbing a puppy to death as retribution in a domestic dispute.
“Every week, we seem to be faced with another horrific tale of animal abuse,” said Tedisco, who sponsored ‘Buster’s Law.’ “As a pet owner and public official, I feel a particular obligation to strengthen New York’s animal cruelty laws. This bill will deter these crimes and ensure the most heinous offenders get the psychological help that they obviously need.”
Tedisco said his bill would bar individuals convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals until they have been deemed mentally fit to do so. While ‘Buster’s Law’ raised animal abuse penalties to felonies, lengthened prison sentences and increased fines, it did not mandate psychological testing or ban future pet ownership for offenders. Tedisco said the registry would be funded through the mandatory surcharges paid to the courts by convicted animal abusers.
“New York’s animal abuse laws have come a long way,” Tedisco said. “However, we have yet to implement some of the most vital protective and punitive measures to ensure we are safeguarding our animals and communities. Animal abuse has long been recognized as a bridge crime so it is imperative that we do all that we can to protect the least of our creatures and make sure that their abusers get the help that they need before they start victimizing people.”