Assemblyman James N. Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady) today urged passage of legislation that he has introduced (A.2307) that would mandate psychological testing and counseling for New Yorkers who abuse or kill companion pets. Tedisco’s insistence comes in the wake of the brutal abuse of two cats last week, which resulted in the death of one.
Tedisco, who sponsored "Buster’s Law" in 1999, explained that those who physically abuse, torture, injure or kill defenseless animals often go on to commit heinous crimes against humans. "Son of Sam, Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer are examples of serial killers for whom animal abuse was a bridge crime," he said.
"The fact that a 58-year-old man would violently strangle two cats in public raises serious questions about his regard for life and his psychological well-being," Tedisco said.
Studies show that many people arrested for committing violent acts against others have histories of animal abuse. According to the United States Department of Justice, these studies show that animal abuse may be characteristic of the developmental histories of violent adult offenders.
"The torture and killing of companion pets and stray animals occur many times as a precursor to vandalism or setting fires, and is known to be a bridge crime to more serious and violent felonies," said Tedisco.
"We have a responsibility to protect society from people who have no regard for human life," Tedisco said. "These people need psychological testing and treatment before they are allowed back into our communities. I will work closely with my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate to pass this bill when we return to Albany in January."