"I am honored to receive this award from the ASPCA, and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all of the programs and services they provide in communities across New York," Grisanti said. "As a loving owner of two dogs, I strongly feel we must protect our four-legged friends from abuse and harm however possible."
ASPCA Humane Leadership Awards acknowledge state legislators who played a key role in advancing legislation or raising awareness on priority animal welfare issues in New York State during the previous legislative session. Since taking office in 2011, Senator Grisanti has sponsored a host of measures to reduce animal suffering and hold those entrusted with their care accountable for their actions.
"The ASPCA is pleased to present Senator Grisanti with this award to commemorate his great work for animals," said Bill Ketzer, senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast region. "In two years time, the Senator has established himself in Albany as a forward-thinking protector of animals on many levels. His 2012 passage of a bill in the Senate to finally require dog control officers to receive basic training is a great example of commitment to responsible animal welfare policy."
Senator Grisanti introduced the aforementioned legislation following a case where an untrained, part-time dog control officer in Lackawanna, NY shot and killed one cat and two kittens in the basement of an apartment complex after being called to retrieve the animals.
Similar occurrences have come to light in almost every part of the state. Closer to Albany, a dog control officer for the town of Hoosick, New York recently pled guilty to shooting stray dogs and burying them in his barnyard manure pile.
"Unfortunately, the situation in my Senate district is not an isolated incident," the Senator explained. "I was alarmed to discover that many appointed dog control officers throughout the state have few qualifications and receive absolutely no training. These untrained officers often do not make the proper decisions when responding to a call."
Senator Grisanti will join other elected officials on May 6th and address a crowd of over 200 ASPCA supporters who come to Albany each year to advocate on key animal-related bills. The event is cosponsored by the New York State Animal Protection Federation and Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
"Without strong state laws, animals have no protection," the Senator said. "I look forward to working with each of these groups as we look toward making New York the best in the nation when it comes to fighting animal cruelty."