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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SPCA calls on animal expert in cat killings

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String of mutilations sparks fears it could be mark of a serial slayer in the making

The SPCA has enlisted the help of an American animal crime scene expert and is considering using tracking dogs to hunt down the person, or persons, responsible for a series of cat mutilations in Maple Ridge as concern grows that the perpetrator could be “warming up” to killing humans.

SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk said forensic veterinarian, Dr. Melinda Merck of Georgia, will offer guidance in the necropsies of 25 dismembered cats found in Maple Ridge in the past year.

The slayings are particularly disturbing since history shows several examples of serial killers, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz, who tortured animals before moving on to people.

The necropsies, which are under-way, will identify how the cats were killed and determine whether there’s DNA from the suspect on the animal corpses, said Chortyk.

The cats were found within a 15-block radius around 217th Avenue and 230th Street between Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road. Most had their heads chopped off, or their bodies slit from throat to tail with a sharp object, she said. The remains were placed where the owners or passersby could find them.

A head, leg, and some fur was found outside Harry Hooge elementary school, while a kitten’s head was left on an owner’s front lawn and a tail of a cat placed under a missing poster of the feline. The incidents occurred in batches, with the first last June, followed by others in November, March and May.

“The people who are doing this are making a point to leave the bodies where they will be found and where they will cause the most distress to people,” Chortyk said.

She acknowledged some cats may have been killed by coyotes, but in most cases, the dismemberment is “too precise to be done by an animal.”

The culprit, she said, could be some-one with a mental illness, teenagers committing a prank, or someone per-forming a cultural ritual.

It could also be a future serial killer.

Rob Gordon, a criminologist with Simon Fraser University, cited the case of Luka Magnotta, a 29-year-old Canadian porn actor suspected of killing and dismembering Jun Lin, 33, of China, and sending his body parts through the mail.

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Michigan proposing to be first state with an animal abuse registry

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Detroit Representative Harvey Santana introduced a House bill this week requiring an adult convicted of animal cruelty and abuse to register into a data base with their name, photographs and address. The fee would be $50 payable by the registrant.

If approved, Michigan would be the first state to ever impose such legislation although similar bills are being considered in Rhode Island, California, Tennessee, Arizona, and Maryland. Colorado legislators recently rejected a bill requiring animal abusers to register.

All rescues and animal shelters would have access to the registry and be legally obligated not to adopt, sell, or release an animal to those people on the list.

CBS Detroit reports Representative Santana stated the registry would also be a resource for law enforcement officials. Extensive research shows that animal abuse and violence to people are closely related. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, (ALDF) such nationally known serial killers as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz and others began their egregious careers as animal abusers.

In Maryland, State Senator Ron Young’s bill advocating for an animal abuse registry has been named Heidi’s Law – after a seven-month-old Golden Retriever who was shot four times and killed as she played in her own yard. 

Two years ago, a unanimous decision by legislators brought the first animal registry to Suffolk County, New York. Rockland County is the second to approve a registry.

The ALDF continues to encourage and work with legislators to encourage more states to institute similar legislation. Click here for more information

Read full post here:- Michigan proposes Animal Abuse Registry

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