Hundreds Turn Out for New York’s First Animal Advocacy Day

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On Wednesday, hundreds of two and four-legged animal advocates descended upon the state capitol in Albany for New York’s first-ever Animal Advocacy Day.

The stars of the National Geographic show Rescue Ink joined Assemblyman James Tedisco and Senator Greg Ball in an effort to urge lawmakers to strengthen Buster’s Law, the New York State law that covers animal cruelty charges.

If the legislation is passed, Tedisco says New York would have the toughest animal cruelty laws in the nation.

Buster’s Law, which passed in 1999 after a cat that had been burned to death by a New York teenager, created a felony charge for aggravated cruelty to animals. Ball and Tedisco are each endorsing bills that would require anyone convicted under the law to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and register as an animal-abuser. The two are also looking for stronger penalties for those found involved in animal fighting.

“It’s very important to strengthen our animal felony law, Buster’s Law, which we enacted 14 years ago,” Tedisco said. “We know from law enforcement and the FBI that animal cruelty is a bridge crime. Individuals—I can give you their names: Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, the Columbine murderers—all had a history of hurting animals before they hurt individuals and became serial murderers.”

Couldn’t make it to Albany? Here is Senator Ball’s passionate speech.

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