Tedisco: Cat Found Nailed to Tree in Schenectady Eerily Similar to Case that Inspired Buster’s Law & Torture of Railroad Puppies Hudson & Pearl
Assemblyman who was the driving force behind passage of Buster’s animal cruelty felony law calls for passage of state animal abuser offender list to protect people and pets
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today said the disturbing incident of animal cruelty of a cat found nailed to a tree in Steinmetz Park in Schenectady underscores the need for the state legislature to pass his legislation to create animal abuser offender list (A.2484/S.2935) and prevent abusers from owning an animal ever again.
“Whoever did this to this cat needs to be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is very disturbing and eerily similar to the original case that inspired the creation of Buster’s Law, where a teen in Schenectady doused a cat with kerosene and set it on fire. It’s also similar to the incident a few years ago when an abuser nailed railroad puppies Hudson and Pearl to railroad tracks in Albany,” said Tedisco.
In 1999, Tedisco led a statewide effort to collect over 118,000 signatures to pass the landmark Buster’s Law creating the felony category of "aggravated cruelty to animals," punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Buster's Law was named after an 18-month-old tabby cat that had been doused with kerosene and burned to death by a Schenectady teen. Prior to this bill becoming law, animal cruelty resulted in only misdemeanor penalties, if any charges were imposed at all. Since the arrest that inspired the creation of Buster's Law, the perpetrator who abused this helpless cat has been imprisoned for various crimes, including attempted rape, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment of a 12-year-old girl.
In January 2016, the FBI will be moving 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. There is a direct correlation between animal cruelty and domestic abuse.
The statewide animal abuse offender list legislation has Majority sponsors in both houses and would ensure convicted animal abusers can never adopt or purchase an animal again and that they receive psychological evaluation and treatment. The bill has twice passed the Senate.
“This is as much about protecting people as it is about protecting our pets because animal cruelty is a bridge crime and anyone who would commit a crime as dastardly as harming a defenseless animal could go on to harm our human loved ones,” said Tedisco.
Tedisco is encouraging anyone who may know something about the perpetrator(s) of this crime to contact the Schenectady Police Department at 518-630-0911.