Assemblyman who was the driving force behind passage of Buster’s animal cruelty felony law calls for passage of legislation to take holistic approach to preventing animal cruelty
In the wake of a grisly crime of animal cruelty in Halfmoon where a nine-month old puppy was set on fire, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today is calling on the state legislature to pass his legislation to create a statewide registry of animal abusers. Tedisco was the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster’s Law which created the felony crime of animal cruelty in New York punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
A 19-year-old Halfmoon resident faces felony animal cruelty charges under Buster’s Law for allegedly throwing flammable liquid on a pit bull puppy and then tossing lit matches at the dog. Another 19-year-old Halfmoon man is facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly not providing sustenance to the dog.
As research indicates, violence against animals is a bridge crime that is on the FBI criminal profile and can, and has, led to violence against people. Serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz all started out as animal abusers before they began preying on people. There’s often a direct correlation between domestic violence and animal cruelty.
Tedisco’s legislation (A.2484) creates a statewide registry of animal abusers, requires them to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and prohibits them from ever owning an animal again. Tedisco authored the measure and it has a majority sponsor in the Assembly in Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D-Hudson) and in the Senate by Senator Phil Boyle (R,C,I-Suffolk County). The bill has twice passed the Senate.
“Anyone who is so twisted as to light a dog on fire should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To prevent future violence, convicted animal abusers should be on a statewide animal abuse registry and never be allowed to have a pet again. Perhaps most importantly, convicted abusers need psychiatric evaluation and treatment or they will likely never stop abusing and neglecting animals, and in fact, may take the leap to hurting people,” said Tedisco.
“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 noted that this legislation will be one of the top bills advanced at the 5th Annual NYS Animal Advocacy Day on June 3rd in Albany. For more information on Animal Advocacy Day visit www.facebook.com/nysanimaladvocacyday.