Strengthen Animal Cruelty Laws in New York


Target: New York Assemblyman Anthony Brandisi

Goal: Pass bill in New York that will significantly strengthen animal abuse crimes

Despite the fact that New York already has some of the strongest animal cruelty laws in the country, several recent cases of cruelty and neglect have left citizens wondering why the guilty were never punished. Lawmakers and animal rights groups are trying to get the Senate to pass a law that will make crimes against animals part of the Penal Code. This would be the first law of its kind and will dramatically improve the number of animal cruelty cases that result in penalties.

The ongoing problem with animal cruelty laws across the country is that even though penalties are getting stronger, if the cases aren’t taken seriously, they will never even reach the point where a penalty can be determined. This occurs more often than not because when animal cruelty laws were first established 50 years ago, the Department of Agriculture was given the responsibility of handling them. Many lawyers and courts aren’t even familiar with agriculture market laws, and as a result, these crimes aren’t taken seriously. New York Assemblyman Anthony Brandisi, who is helping to push this bill toward the Senate, made a statement saying, “When you have a case of animal cruelty, the courts and lawyers may not consider them ‘real crimes’ with animal abuse, even when they are in fact severe crimes.”

Brandisi is hoping the Senate will pass a bill that will move animal abuse crimes from the Agriculture Markets Law and into the Penal Law. Doing so would turn misdemeanor crimes to felonies and also require that all law enforcement officials, judges, and lawyers become familiar with animal cruelty laws and ordinances. Getting the bill through the Senate will be a difficult task, but Brandisi is hoping the local community will speak up.

Please sign the petition below and make New York the first state to have animal cruelty and neglect listed under the Penal Code.


Dear Assemblyman Brandisi,

You have recently been working to try and get a bill through to the Senate that would dramatically change animal cruelty laws by placing them under the Penal Code. This would be the first law of its kind in the nation and not only make animal cruelty a felony, but also improve the number of cases that actually result in penalties.

Thank you for continuing to make New York a leader in animal welfare. I strongly support this bill and hope it is passed into law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Patrick_Glesca via Flickr

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