A03985 Summary:

Add §353-aa, Ag & Mkts L
Establishes Bella's Law which calls for an investigation into possible domestic violence or abuse for persons who have been accused of animal abuse.
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A03985 Actions:

01/29/2021referred to children and families
01/05/2022referred to children and families
03/21/2022enacting clause stricken
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A03985 Committee Votes:

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A03985 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03985 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to enacting "Bella's Law"   PURPOSE: Relates to establishing the family protection act, which-correlates animal abuse with domestic violence.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: To establish a requirement that the state of New York office of children and family services must investigate any individual who is accused of or investigated for animal cruelty.   JUSTIFICATION: This bill would create a conduit for information sharing between the Office of Children and Family Services and local law enforcement agen- cies to help identify domestic violence and animal abuse perpetrators. Data shows that individuals who have committed either one of these above offenses are relatively likely to commit the other. Rather than wait for the offense to be committed, this bill would create specific instances in which one entity will be required to report information to the other in order to help stop offenses before they occur.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2020: A.9948A - referred to Children and Families   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A03985 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 29, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  M. MILLER  --  read once and referred to the
          Committee on Children and Families
        AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to enacting
          "Bella's Law"
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  "Bella's Law".
     3    § 2. Legislative intent. The  legislature  hereby  finds  that  animal
     4  cruelty  is  a  serious  problem and that individuals who harm and abuse
     5  animals are statistically more likely to engage in domestic violence and
     6  child abuse than individuals who do not harm and abuse animals. A strong
     7  correlation has been established linking individuals who  abuse  animals
     8  with  incidents of domestic violence. Therefore, the purpose of this law
     9  is to establish a requirement that the state of New York office of chil-
    10  dren and family services must investigate any individual who is  accused
    11  of or investigated for animal cruelty to ensure that there is no associ-
    12  ated  domestic  or  family  violence and that law enforcement notify and
    13  coordinate with the office of children and  family  services  in  animal
    14  cruelty investigations and arrests.
    15    §  3.  The  agriculture  and  markets  law  is amended by adding a new
    16  section 353-aa to read as follows:
    17    § 353-aa. Animal abuse accusal requiring a domestic violence and abuse
    18  investigation. 1. Definitions. As used in this  section,  the  following
    19  terms shall have the following meanings:
    20    (a)  "Animal"  shall mean any live mammal, bird, or reptile, but shall
    21  not include feeder animals.
    22    (b) "Companion animal" shall mean any dog or cat, and shall also  mean
    23  any  other domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the house-
    24  hold of the owner or  person  who  cares  for  such  other  domesticated
    25  animal.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3985                             2
     1    (c)  "Animal  abuse  crime" shall mean the commission of the following
     2  enumerated crimes against an animal:
     3    (1)  animal fighting, as defined in section three hundred fifty-one of
     4  this article;
     5    (2) overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals; failure  to  provide
     6  proper  sustenance,  as  defined in section three hundred fifty-three of
     7  this article;
     8    (3) aggravated cruelty to animals, as defined in section three hundred
     9  fifty-three-a of this article;
    10    (4) electrocution of fur-bearing animals, as defined in section  three
    11  hundred fifty-three-c of this article
    12    (5)  abandonment  of  animals,  as  defined  in  section three hundred
    13  fifty-five of this article;
    14    (6) failure to provide proper food and drink to an  impounded  animal,
    15  as defined in section three hundred fifty-six of this article;
    16    (7)  carrying  animal  in  a cruel manner, as defined in section three
    17  hundred fifty-nine of this article;
    18    (8) poisoning or attempting to poison animals, as defined  in  section
    19  three hundred sixty of this article;
    20    (9)  interference  with  or  injury  to  certain  domestic animals, as
    21  defined in section three hundred sixty-one of this article;
    22    (10) sexual misconduct with an animal, as defined in subdivision three
    23  of section 130.20 of the penal law;
    24    (11) harming an animal trained to aid a person with  a  disability  in
    25  the first degree, as defined in section 195.12 of the penal law;
    26    (12)  harming  a  service  animal  in  the first degree, as defined in
    27  section 242.15 of the penal law;
    28    (13) harming a service animal in the  second  degree,  as  defined  in
    29  section 242.10 of the penal law; or
    30    (14)  an  offense  in  any  other  jurisdiction which includes all the
    31  essential elements of any such crime provided for in this subdivision.
    32    (d) "Accused" shall mean a formal accusation of an animal abuse  crime
    33  commenced by the filing of an information, complaint, or indictment with
    34  a court of competent jurisdiction.
    35    (e)  "Investigated" shall mean a reasonable suspicion that an individ-
    36  ual is engaging in an animal abuse crime that has commenced an  investi-
    37  gation  into  such conduct by a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction
    38  covering the state of New York.
    39    (f) "Domestic incident report" shall mean a state of New York division
    40  of criminal justice services form three thousand two hundred twenty-one,
    41  as established by the "family protection and  domestic  violence  inter-
    42  vention act of 1994".
    43    2.  Duty  to  investigate.  (a)  Upon notification of an accusation or
    44  investigation of an animal abuse crime, the office of children and fami-
    45  ly services shall promptly log and investigate the individual  that  has
    46  been accused or is being investigated. The office of children and family
    47  services  shall, where practicable, reasonable, and not in contravention
    48  of law, coordinate such investigation with and communicate  any  results
    49  to the referring or prosecuting agency.
    50    (b) Such investigation shall determine whether the accused or investi-
    51  gated party has any associated family or domestic violence.
    52    3.  Sharing of information. (a) Where practicable, reasonable, and not
    53  in contravention of law, the office  of  children  and  family  services
    54  shall  be  notified by law enforcement of investigations and accusations
    55  of animal abuse crimes where such investigations or accusations arise in
    56  connection in such law enforcement's professional or official  capacity.

        A. 3985                             3
     1  Nothing herein shall mandate such reporting: (i) where it would jeopard-
     2  ize  an  ongoing  investigation or the personal safety of an individual;
     3  (ii) in circumstances where it is clear that the accused or investigated
     4  individual  has no family members and no need for personal services from
     5  the office of children and family services; or (iii) where  the  partic-
     6  ular  investigation  or  accusation  was  previously  reported. Such law
     7  enforcement members shall document response, investigation, and  actions
     8  taken  in  keeping with this mandate, including, where appropriate, on a
     9  domestic incident report.
    10    (b) A domestic incident report shall be prepared in every instance  of
    11  abuse or threatened abuse against the companion animal of another family
    12  member,  even  if investigation of the incident reveals that no crime or
    13  offense was committed.
    14    4. Applicability. This law shall  apply  to  all  persons  accused  or
    15  investigated  of  animal  abuse crimes on or after the effective date of
    16  this section.
    17    5. Severability. If  any  clause,  sentence,  paragraph,  subdivision,
    18  section,  or  part of this law to the application thereof to any person,
    19  individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity or circumstance shall
    20  be adjudged by any court of competent  jurisdiction  to  be  invalid  or
    21  unconstitutional,  such  order  or  judgment shall not affect, impair or
    22  invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation
    23  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this
    24  law or in its application to the person, individual, corporation,  firm,
    25  partnership  entity or circumstance directly involved in the controversy
    26  in which an order or judgment shall be rendered.
    27    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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