Queens, NY, June 7, 2011 – NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., (D-Queens) announced the passing of animal rights legislation in the Senate as part of the 1st annual New York State Animal Advocacy Day on June 1. Among the passed bills were S.946, S.3317 and S.3237, which was co-sponsored by Senator Addabbo. The bill was in relation to increasing the penalties for those convicted of violating the prohibition of animal fighting. Passing this day, with Senator Addabbo’s support, were the inclusion of theft of dogs and cats within the crime of grand larceny in the fourth degree (S.946), along with the establishment of a toll-free hotline where individuals can report instances of animal fighting (S.3317).
Senator Addabbo praised the passing of these three bills, noting animal fighting is a distasteful sport and an unfortunate avenue some seek to capitalize financially in today’s economic climate. “For far too long, animal fighting has been, and remains, a serious problem that affects communities throughout the nation. Today, I proudly stand in support of these bills to eliminate this disturbing sport and to bring peace and comfort to all animals unfairly subjected to this harsh reality,” said Addabbo. “Animals used for animal fighting are specifically bred, conditioned and trained to fight, and have been known to sustain severe injuries often resulting in unfortunate deaths,” explained the Senator.
S.3237 co-sponsored by Senator Addabbo makes it a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for a period up to one year, and a fine of up to $1,000, for the knowing presence as a spectator at a place where an exhibition of animal fighting is being conducted. S.946 classifies stolen pets as a class E felony, and equates such charge to such current conditions as stolen credit cards, or stolen religious materials. S.3317 makes it easier for authorities to receive information on illegal animal fighting activity. “These measures passed by the Senate will allow New York to strengthen our outdated dog-fighting laws,” said Addabbo in relation to his decision to support all measures.
Currently, all three bills await passage in the Assembly before the Governor can act on each measure. “It is my hope and belief that New York will get serious in protecting the interests of our four-legged friends,” concluded Addabbo.
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