(Albany, New York)- Senator John E. Brooks (SD-8) co-sponsored legislation that overwhelmingly passed the Senate, which expands the definition of aggravated cruelty to animals to include harm to a companion animal during the commission of a felony.
The bill will enhance laws relating to animal cruelty by ensuring that a person causing injury or death to an animal during the commission of a felony is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals. Under current law, a person is only guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals if he or she intentionally kills or causes injury to a companion animal.
Senator Brooks backed the legislation after hearing a local constituent’s story, Debbie Wilson of Freeport, whose dog was beaten during a home burglary and subsequently had to be euthanized.
“Clearly in these acts the individual is taking a very violent action on these animals. One of the constituents from my district had written a letter to me about a burglary at her home, during which her dog was injured and passed away. The burglar faced no criminal charges regarding the harm done to the dog,” said Senator Brooks.
“For everyone that has had a pet, when that pet passes, we consider that animal part of the family. This law address a very serious problem in the state, animal cruelty. There has to be a real and severe penalty for these actions,” Sen. Brooks continued.
To watch Sen. Brooks' remarks on the floor, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_mOeXnbdUc