Griffo joins Senate in passing bill to prevent animal abandonment

Joseph A. Griffo

February 25, 2016

Measure Would Increase Fines for Owners Who Desert Pets

State Senator Joseph Griffo joined the New York State Senate on Wednesday in passing a bill that would increase penalties for owners who abandon their pets with no regard for their health and safety.  

The Senate also joined the Assembly in passing legislation that would recognize the many important contributions dogs have in serving and assisting the people of New York’s communities.

Bill S410 would increase the punishment for owners who abandon animals with no regard for their safety or wellbeing by doubling the fine to $2,000, with a maximum possible sentence of one year in jail. The bill is sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) and has been sent to the Assembly for their consideration.

“Pets are just like family to many of us, and so we have an obligation to ensure that we take care of them, shelter them and ensure that all of their basic necessities are being met,” said Senator Griffo (R-Rome). “Pets are not to be simply discarded or left behind just because you no longer want them, or because you can’t afford to care for them anymore. If you are a pet owner, then you have a duty to fulfill the responsibility you willingly accepted, and we are prepared to enforce that responsibility.”  

The Senate and Assembly also passed a bill (S6382A) sponsored by Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-C, Halfmoon) that clarifies a law passed last year to designate the “working dog” as the official dog of New York State. The definition of working dogs would be expanded to include guide dogs; therapy dogs; police and military dogs; and dogs trained to herd animals, protect livestock, or control wildlife, among other helpful services trained dogs provide.

“Working dogs are devoted companions always there for the people of New York, no matter the circumstances,” Senator Griffo said. “Working dogs are loyal and eager to serve, and they embody the spirit of New York.”

This bill will now be sent to the Governor.