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Local Assemblyman Supports Companion Animals

Posted: June 7, 2011, 4:20 p.m., EDT

Something monumental happened this past week in my "neck of the woods.” It was so big…it even made it into the Wall Street Journal and gathered support from "reality TV show" celebrities. On June 1, 2011, legislators, animal rescue groups, animal shelters volunteers, animal advocates and even the stars of the National Geographic show "Rescue Ink," converged on the capital city of New York State for the 1st Annual Animal Advocacy Day, calling on lawmakers to strengthen Buster’s Law.

 As a dog boutique owner and dog lover, it is so uplifting to know the law is looking out for our helpless companion pets. Buster’s Law makes "aggravated cruelty to animals" a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Buster’s Law was passed in 1999 thanks to the hard work of Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R, C, I - Schenectady/Saratoga). The legislation was inspired by the reprehensible abuse of an 18-month-old tabby cat named Buster who was doused in kerosene and burned to death by a local teenager. Over the years, several animal abusers have been charged under Buster’s Law. Hopefully, with the elevation of the crime to a felony, it has deterred others from committing heinous acts against animals.

As for the future, Tedisco wants to see psychiatric evaluations for people convicted of animal abuse, a registry of those convicted, and a ban on them owning pets. If the legislation is passed, New York would have the toughest animal cruelty laws in the nation!
Do you know what the law is against animal cruelty in your home state? I encourage you to find out, and possibly become involved in changing/strengthening the legislation if need be. It only takes one person to get the ball rolling and make a change for the helpless cats and dogs that we call family.

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