Senate Passes Bill to Prevent Animal Abandonment

February 24, 2016

Measure Would Increase Fines for Owners Who Abandon Animals

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S410) sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) to protect animals and prevent their abandonment. The measure would increase the penalties for owners who abandon their animals and jeopardize their health and safety.

Senator Marcellino said, “Incidents of animal abandonment are growing. We read about them far too often. Individuals are choosing to walk  away from their pets for financial reasons or simply because they are classless and heartless people who don’t care what happens to the animals after they abandon them. The penalty needs to match the seriousness of the crime.”

Several recent cases of dogs abandoned in freezing cold weather have occurred this winter, including a dog who’s paws had frozen to the ground in New York City’s Prospect Park, and a dog left tied to a pole along a busy roadway in Albany on a frigid night. This bill would increase the punishment for abandonment of animals to a maximum sentence of one year in jail or $2,000 or both – up from a sentence of one year or $1,000 fine or both.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

The Senate today also gave final passage to legislation recognizing the important contributions of dogs in serving and assisting in New York’s communities. The bill (S6382A) sponsored by Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-C, Halfmoon) clarifies a law passed last year designating 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.

The bill will be sent to the Governor.

Senators Involved