Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Place animal cruelty under the penal code to strengthen penalties
New York State is considering rewriting its animal cruelty laws so that such acts will fall under the penal code, dramatically increasing penalties and the number of cases that can be handled by the state. Passing this legislation would be a landmark for animal cruelty and deserves our support.
In all fifty states animal cruelty currently falls under the Department of Agriculture or the Health Department, but House Bill A775a/S1776 seeks to make crimes against animals fall under the penal code. Doing so would completely change the way these cases are handled. First, the crimes will be treated as a serious offense, resulting in more jail time and felony charges. Second, the cases would be the responsibility of law enforcement rather than investigators with Animal Control, the Department of Agriculture, or the Health Department. Law enforcement taking the reins will ensure that cases are pursued to the furthest extent possible and that the guilty parties will be brought to justice more often.
Perhaps the biggest cause of more egregious animal cruelty cases being mishandled or going without resolution is that they are eventually handed from other departments to law enforcement. It is then law enforcement’s responsibility to resolve the case without having actually participated in the investigation and they are often left without the means or the resources to convict the guilty party of more serious crimes. Making it the responsibility of law enforcement to perform investigations from the beginning will put an end to this and send more animal abusers to jail.
This bill could be one of the most important pieces of animal rights legislation in U.S. history. If the remaining 49 states took notice, animal cruelty would finally be recognized as the serious crime it is and millions of animals would gain the legal protection they deserve.
Please sign the petition below to support HB A775a/S1776 and strengthen animal cruelty laws in New York State.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
A bill was recently proposed that would place animal cruelty under the New York Penal Code. House Bill A755a/S1776 seeks to place the responsibility for investigating animal abuse cases on law enforcement rather than the Department of Agriculture or Health Department. Not only would this increase the penalties for animal cruelty, it would also ensure that more cases are handled successfully.
The Humane Society of the United States is currently lobbying for this bill to pass and many other animal rights organizations are also doing their part. If it is passed, this could be one of the most important laws ever passed in the U.S. for animal cruelty. I strongly encourage you to do whatever you can to see that this bill is successfully passed into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: reader of the pack via Flickr