Preventing Animal Cruelty

John A. DeFrancisco

During Animal Cruelty Prevention Month the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States and many other animal organizations are educating the public about the prevalence of animal cruelty in our country and how to help prevent it.

According to The Humane Society there were 1,880 cruelty cases reported in the media in 2007, and approximately 1 million animals are abused or killed in connection with domestic violence each year. These numbers cannot be ignored, which is why I have been a strong supporter of animal rights and have drafted many pieces of legislation to help protect our animals.

Last year, my bill to penalize anyone who attends an animal fight became law. Under the law, any individual who knowingly attends an animal fight is guilty of a violation and subject to a $500 fine. Those who are convicted of attending an animal fight a second time, within five years of their first offense, are guilty of a misdemeanor. Animal fighting is a barbaric practice that cannot be condoned by any civilized society. 

This year I am continuing to fight for several other bills, including legislation that makes cruelty to ten or more animals during the same criminal transaction a class E felony (S1496), establishes a toll-free statewide number for the use in investigation and prevention of animal fighting (S1508), and provides for the humane destruction or disposition of certain animals (S1506). All of these bills would help to strengthen New York State’s laws. 

Animal cruelty is unacceptable. Animal fighting, animal hoarding, running a puppy or kitty mill, and abuse and neglect are all examples of animal cruelty. To report cases of animal cruelty in Central New York, please call the CNY SPCA Cruelty Investigations office at (315) 454-3469 or email

The CNY SPCA suggests that when you call you have as much information as possible, including the name of the offender, the address where the animal is being kept, the area where the animal is being kept, a description of the animal(s), dates and times of abuse, the nature of abuse, and a license plate number if an automobile is involved. Reports of abuse or suspected abuse are kept in strict confidence.

By identifying cases of animal cruelty and reporting them, you can help to ensure the health and safety of our animals.