Advocates push for tougher animal cruelty laws

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There was push for pets in Albany as part of the third annual Animal Advocacy Day. Supporters are calling for tougher animal cruelty laws. Our Megan Cruz tells us how that could mean a state registry of convicted animal abusers.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Five paws for Pearl!

“So affectionate, gets along great with our other dog and our kids. She’s just been a great addition,” said Susan Kittle. Her and her family adopted Pearl in December. They just wish it wasn’t under such awful circumstances. Pearl and two others had been found mutilated and left for dead on railroad tracks in Albany. One died. The other, Hudson, now lives with the Nashes.

“Too often you hear it on the news – dogs, cats, horses, all kinds of animals that are innocent,” said Rosemarie Nash. “They love you, they love you no matter what. Even with what he’s been through, Hudson still loves people.”

These two families joined lawmakers and hundreds of animal supporters Tuesday for the 3rd annual Animal Advocacy Day in Albany. Together they pushed to strengthen Buster’s Law – which made aggravated animal abuse a felony punishable by up to two years and a $5000 fine.

A lot of these animals literally don’t have a voice because they’ve been de-vocalized,” said Assemblyman Jim Tedisco. “A dog here today who was a breeder at a puppy mill, they cut his vocal chords so he wouldn’t bark and make noise so they could catch the inappropriate breeding taking place.”

Senator Greg Ball said, “We have seen that people who start with crimes like that move on to much worse crimes against neighbors, our families.”

Some examples: serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and David Berkowitz, also known as at “Son of Sam.”

“So these bills don’t just protect our furry friends, they’ll protect the larger community,” said Ball.

There’s close to 10 bills that Ball and Tedisco hope will make people pause before hurting our four-legged friends.

Tedisco said, “The state registry is probably most important. We have to identify those people who are doing this type of abuse, put them on a registry so they cannot own an animal anymore until a psychological evaluation and treatment.”

Now while Hudson and Pearl have found their happy ending, many abused animals do not. People at Tuesday’s event hope to get pass these measures before the end of the Legislative session.

“Keep these people off the streets so they don’t do it to any other animal or person,” said Richard Nash.

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Arrest Made In Abuse of Railroad Puppies

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ALBANY, N.Y. – The Director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society tells NEWS10 the Albany County District Attorney’s office has made an arrest in the case of the abandoned and abused Railroad Puppies.

Hudson & Pearl

The Albany County District Attorney’s Office says 30-year-old Anthony Walker, of South Swan Street, was arrested in the case on January 14th. 

Anthony Walker

Three puppies were found by railroad workers apparently nailed by their paws to railroad tracks at North Pearl Street in Albany on September 8, 2013, and police have been investigating their abuse ever since.

Two of the puppies – Hudson and Pearl – were adopted by local families in early December after a long recovery. The third puppy died from her severe condition.

All three puppies had severe injuries to their paws when found; Pearl had two digits removed from her paw and Hudson’s rear left paw was completely removed and replaced with a new prosthetic paw at the Society on Nov. 12th by a veterinary surgeon.

Hudson and Pearl and have been happy and healthy at their new homes. Thursday they posted, “Today is a good day! They caught the person who did this to Hudson, Myself and our little sister who didn’t make it….” You can follow them on Facebook here.

Walker has been charged with one count of Abandonment of a Disabled Animal, a misdemeanor at this time. The District Attorney’s Office says the case is still under investigation and additional information is not available at this time.

Pearl’s mother, Susan Kittle, tells NEWS10, “I’m happy they caught the person and I hoping he gets the justice that he deserve, I hope Buster’s Laws gets enacted.

“[Hudson’s parents and I] talk every day. We have a very nice relationship. We do a lot of public outings together because people want to know how the railroad puppies are doing,” Kittle says. “We’re both interested in making sure [the puppies] have the last word.”

They ask any individuals with information regarding the injury of these animals are encouraged to contact the Albany Police Department 462-8039.

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NY officers to be trained for animal abuse cases

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Police and animal care specialists are getting special training on how to investigate cases of animal abuse.

The New York State Police and New York State Humane Association are sponsoring the one-day workshop Tuesday at the state police academy in Albany.

Speakers are all experienced in the field of animal cruelty. They include veterinarian Holly Cheever and retired New York State Police investigator Sue McDonough.

Police, humane officials and animal control officers will learn more about state laws that pertain to animal cruelty and how to effectively investigate complaints.

Police say recent cases including more than 100 cats found in a Saratoga County homes and a dog found duct-taped on the side of a rural road show the need for training.

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Public hearing to discuss tougher punishments for animal abuse

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A public hearing will take place in Utica next week to discuss tougher state actions to curb the rise in animal abuse.

The state Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture has scheduled a hearing for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, on the first floor of the State Office Building in Utica, said state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-Rome.

“I am sickened and alarmed at the increase in serious cases of animal abuse and neglect across our region,” Griffo said, referring to recent cases of a West Utica man who was charged after dead and starving dogs were found in his apartment, as well as a Utica couple accused of neglecting and starving their pet mink.

In the past, Griffo has supported bills to strengthen the protections that state law provides to companion animals, and now he hopes recent cases like this will spark urgency from fellow legislators in Albany to take further action.

We have taken action to protect children. We have taken action to protect adults,” Griffo said. “Our work is not complete unless we take further action that will ensure animals are not mistreated unto death by people who should not be allowed to ever, ever own an animal again and who should be paying the full price for intentionally treating a companion animal in such a way that has led to death.”

Two weeks ago, the state Senate passed legislation that would make stealing a licensed dog or cat a felony, Griffo said. He also is the sponsor of a bipartisan bill to establish a statewide animal abuser registry, with requirements to notify the community, but this bill has not yet been voted on.
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