In response to the disturbing news reports of a family of cat hoarders in the town of Halfmoon, and what seems to be an epidemic of animal hoarding cases, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today outlined three steps New York can take to protect animals from abuse and reduce incidences of animal hoarding that have a negative effect on neighborhoods.
They include mandatory psychiatric evaluation of convicted animal abusers, creation of a statewide registry of animal abusers and encouraging more people to spay and neuter their pets.
Last week, three individuals in Halfmoon were arrested for charges relating to hoarding at least 130 cats in a trailer in extremely decrepit conditions. This week, another 44 dead cats were found behind a home in Johnsonville that has been linked to one of the Halfmoon animal hoarders.
“Pet owners have a responsibility to raise animals in a safe, sanitary and humane environment and only take in animals they can reasonably care for. Animal hoarding is a sickness, and anyone who would engage in this disturbing behavior may have a mental illness and needs to be treated before they harm more animals or hurt people. Animal hoarding also impacts neighborhoods by causing dirty and unsanitary conditions where disease and infestations can spread,” said Tedisco, the driving force behind passage of Buster’s felony animal cruelty law in 1999. “That’s why we are sponsoring the 2nd annual New York State Animal Advocacy Day on June 13 in Albany to raise awareness of the issue of animal cruelty and bring together New Yorkers to call for stronger laws to protect our companion animals.”
Tedisco is the sponsor of bi-partisan legislation to require that animal abusers be placed on a statewide registry of abusers (A.1506/S.3804), prohibit them from ever owning a companion animal again (A.1580/S.5084), and require them to undergo a psychiatric evaluation (A.1567/S.3805).
“We must never forget that animal cruelty is a bridge crime, and those twisted individuals who would cause harm to an animal can, and often do, go on to hurt humans,” said Tedisco, who has two cats and two dogs.
For more information on the 2nd Annual New York State Animal Advocacy Day, visit: www.facebook.com/nysanimaladvocacyday.