Lawmakers, animal advocates seek Buster’s Law felony, punishable with 2 years in jail for harming pets during commission of another felony; Announce they will hold NYS Animal Advocacy Day on June 7 in Well of LOB in Albany
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), Senator Phil Boyle (R,C,I-Suffolk County) and Senator George Amedore (R,C,I-Rotterdam) today joined with family members of two murdered dogs and animal advocates to call on the Assembly to bring “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” to the Floor of the New York State Assembly for a debate and up or down vote.
“Kirby & Quigley’s Law” was named for two Montgomery County dogs that were shot and killed during a burglary in February that is still an unsolved case. The bi-partisan bill (A.1596/S.2936) would make it a Buster’s Law felony punishable with 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for harming a companion animal during the commission of another felony. This enhanced penalty ensures that perpetrators are charged with felony animal cruelty charges when they face other felonies, such as burglary, and would serve as a deterrent to make criminals think twice before executing an animal or face additional jail time. Tedisco, Boyle and Amedore renamed the measure “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” in the dogs’ memory with support from the Krohn family who don’t want what happened to their family to happen to anyone else. There is a $12,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of any suspect(s). If you have any information that can solve this case, please call the Montgomery County Sheriff at 518-853-5500.
This year, the FBI has moved animal cruelty to a top tier Group A offense in its crime reporting statistics due to it being a bridge crime, as animal abusers can, and often do, go on to harm people.
The State Senate has passed “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” three times, most recently in March 2016 by a 59-1 vote. The lawmakers have launched an online petition drive to harness the power of the people to urge the Speaker to allow the bill to come through committee to the Floor for a debate and vote.
“There’s no question that anyone who would invade a home and assassinate two loving dogs in cold blood would harm a human being. These individuals need to be found and go to prison for a long time,” said Tedisco, who noted that the Assembly Majority is refusing to even bring the bill up before committee. “The Senate has passed ‘Kirby and Quigley’s Law’ three times and now it’s time for the Assembly to bring justice to the Krohn family and to the memory of Kirby and Quigley by enabling this legislation, that has bi-partisan support, to come to the Floor of the Assembly for an up or down vote.”
"It is far too often that despicable crimes against innocent animals has gone unpunished, said Boyle. “The violent and senseless deaths of Kirby and Quigley has necessitated this legislation that ensures the punishment fits the crime for perpetrators who harm animals in this State. I applaud Senator Amedore and Assemblyman Tedisco for working with me to give a voice to animals. I urge the Assembly to do the same and pass this bill before another violent criminal harms another defenseless animal.”
“We need to do everything we can to protect all members of our families, including our pets. The loss that the Krohn’s have experienced -- losing their beloved family pets Kirby and Quigley by the actions of a heinous individual who robbed their house -- is something no family should have to endure,” said Amedore. “This bill has already passed the Senate multiple times, and it’s time for the Assembly to act so we can finally ensure these types of crimes are properly punished. While there is nothing that will bring the Krohn’s loyal companions back, this legislation would be a wonderful legacy for Kirby and Quigley.”
“A crime was committed in that I was robbed but the real heinous crime was the murder of my loving Golden Doodle dogs, Kirby and Quigley. Everything else is replaceable but not our dogs. Unfortunately, there is no law in place that would ensure when another felony is committed and a companion pet is killed during that crime that the suspects would face justice for all their felony crimes. The Senate has done its job and passed ‘Kirby and Quigley’s Law’ with near unanimous bi-partisan support. I urge the Assembly to do the right thing and allow this bill to come forward through committee and to the Floor for a vote,” said Denise Krohn, who came home to find her residence burglarized and her beloved dogs executed.
“The murder of Kirby and Quigley hits especially home for our Animal Protective Foundation family as Jake Krohn, Denise and Pat Krohn’s son, is a member of our staff. We are thankful to our Assemblyman, Jim Tedisco, for championing this cause to ensure that those who would harm a pet during the act of another felony receive the penalties they deserve,” said Deb Balliet, Executive Director of the APF.
“People who do harm to animals are the same people who harm other people. When a person goes into a home and hurts or kills an animal, it is likely they will hurt or kill a person at the next home they enter. This law protects our companion animals and everyone else in our families,” said Brad Shear, Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
“I appreciate Assemblyman Jim Tedisco sponsoring the Kirby and Quigley bill to enforce stricter sentencing for the killing of an animal while committing a felony. This has hit us close to home in Montgomery County and we ask that it be passed. Animals are part of our family and need our protection. It is the right thing to do, to heighten the awareness of treating them properly and with kindness,” said Jan Zumbolo, Board President for Montgomery County SPCA.
“I commend Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, along with the co-sponsors and supporting colleagues of ‘Kirby & Quigley’s Law.’ I also applaud the Senate for once again showing overwhelming bi-partisan support for this important legislation. If a basic sense of decency and humanity should not suffice as the necessary motivation to send ‘Kirby & Quigley’s Law’ to the Assembly Floor, hopefully the FBI’s recent reclassification of animal cruelty as a top tier Group A offense in its reporting statistics will help drive the matter home. I implore the Assembly to honor not only the bi-partisan support of the Senate and the overwhelming support of our community, but also the memory of Kirby and Quigley, by allowing this legislation to be voted on,” said Jason Hayes, Director of the Saratoga County Animal Shelter.
Tedisco and Boyle also announced that June 7th will be the 6th annual New York State Animal Advocacy Day which will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Well of the Legislative Office Building in Albany, and that “Kirby and Quigley’s Law” will be one of the days top legislative priorities if it does not pass the Assembly by then.